City sets cost for street projects

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some Austin residents will be paying a pretty penny for upcoming street projects throughout town — and now that dollar amount is set in stone.

City Council members voted unanimously to approve the street assessment amounts Monday night.

City Engineer Jon Erichson said residents who will be affected by the projects should receive their bills by the end of summer.

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Erichson said the cost share is like a 25, 25, 50 distribution. Residents on each side of a street under repair will pick up 25 percent of the tab, and the City of Austin will pay the rest.

That means homeowners will pay $37 for every linear foot of their property that lies adjacent to any construction, along with roughly $100 for every sidewalk tile. Commercial properties will pay $53 per linear foot of property.

The city has locked everyone in the construction areas at those prices. If projected costs increase, the city will pay the difference.

Homeowners will have several options for paying, including paying the bill in full by Oct. 31 with no added interest, or paying 50 percent of the bill by Oct. 31 with 50 percent added to taxes for 15 years at about 6 percent interest. Residents will also have the option of adding the entire bill to taxes for 15 years at 6 percent interest.

Residents who have certain age, income or economic barriers may qualify for financial assistance.

Some of the street construction will include new asphalt, wider streets and sidewalks and new curbs and gutters, while some is set to include repairs to the sanitary sewer system and the installation of new drainage tile.

Reporter Matt Peterson contributed to this report.