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Stewart Council orders plans, specs for $3.75 million project

The Stewart City Council ordered plans and specifications for an estimated $3.76 million in street and utility improvements after a public hearing Monday night.
Residents who spoke at the hearing were mostly concerned about the anticipated cost and impact on property taxes and assessments.
Engineer Andy Kehren said that the final impact won’t be known until bids are received, but residents can get an idea on their potential assessments by providing their frontage footage and other information to the city.
Monday’s hearing was to outline the scope of the project and explain the proposed improvements.
Kehren said the proposed project actually has its roots in the late 1990s, when the city began considering a long-range improvement plan, which was adopted in 2004.
Except for changes in proposed storm sewer work, the proposed improvements for the 2016-2017 project aren’t much different than what was being considered in 2004, Kehren said. The city has already completed two phases of the improvements.
The scope of the proposed work includes:
• Powers Street from Grove Street to Bowman Street.
• Powers Street from Prior Street to Mowbray Street.
• Croyden Street from Grove Street to Prior Street.
• Croyden Street from Mowbray Street to Winona Street (west line of the cemetery).
• Grove Street from Croyden Street to Powers Street.
• Bowman Street from South Street to Powers Street.
• Mowbray Street from Croyden Street to Powers Street.
• Mowbray Street from Hall Street to Main Street.
• East Street from Main Street to Martha Street.
• Herbert Street from Martha Street to North Street.
• South Street from Bowman Street to Prior Street.
Kehren told those present that certain portions of the outlined project currently qualify for low-interest loan funding from the Public Facilities Authority (PFA).
The city will qualify for $1.51 million in a low-interest PFA loan for the sanitary sewer portion of the project and $1.42 million for the water portion; the city will need to issue general obligation bonds to fund the storm sewer portion at $714,000, and $115,000 for street surfacing.
The loan and bonds will be repaid through a combination of assessments, utility rates and contributions from the general fund, or general property taxes.

For more, see the Jan. 13 print edition of The Chronicle.