High price of upgrades for Morris Columbia and 6th Street properties

It also can include the sidewalks, curb and gutter, street paving and pipes running under the street. Whenever there is road work on the street where you live, the property owner is usually assessed a portion of the costs.

This past summer the City of Morris did three street improvement projects. One was Columbia Ave from TH 28 to 7th St. The next was 6th Street and California Ave to Columbia Ave and the last was Iowa Ave from the City limits to TH 28. At their meeting on Tuesday, October 11 the Morris City Council held a public hearing to explain the assessments that went out to property owners on those streets. Several people were present to hear more about the assessments to their property.

Jeff Kuhn of Widseth Engineering firm gave a presentation about the project which is nearly complete. As of now the total estimated project cost is $2,909,376. The city will be paying $1,546,321 and the state aid portion is $753,849. The amount that will be assessed to property owners is $609,205. This breaks down to approximately $7,800 for 6th Street and Columbia Ave properties for the Sanitary and Watermain replacement. The 6th street properties will also pay about $99 per linear foot for the street paving and curb and gutter. The city will be paying for the new sidewalks on Sixth Street. There are only three property owners on Iowa Ave to be assessed $3,400 for sanitary and $35 per linear foot for street paving. 

City Manager Blaine Hill told the three property owners present that if they wanted to challenge the assessment a written notice had to be filed before the Public Hearing was closed. No one at the meeting submitted a challenge however , Hill did have two that filed earlier in the day. 

“We knew 6th St. was bad,” Hill stated, “this is what it cost to replace that.” 

Mayor Sheldon Giese stated “It is so much nicer than what it was.” before closing the public hearing.

The City Council also discussed the on-going problem with vandalism in the city parks. Work was done pretty much all summer to repair earlier damage at the bathroom at East Side Park. The work inside is done, just in time for shut-down for winter, but some exterior work still needs to be done. However, even as these repairs were made, additional vandalism occurred. The repair work was all covered under insurance but it is still frustrating when it continues to happen requiring closing of the restrooms. 

The City Council members are seriously considering putting cameras up in some areas where the vandalism continues to happen. They will be looking into a system that could possibly be viewed live by County Dispatchers.