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Mason City council postpones action on Central Heights paving project after objections to assessments (AUDIO)

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night postponed moving forward with the street paving project for the Central Heights neighborhood.

The council was being asked to approve three resolutions that dealt with the specifications and ordering of bids on the project. A number of residents commented about higher than anticipated estimated assessment statements that they recently received in the mail. Those assessments could be lower depending on the final cost of the project.

Mayor Bill Schickel says there were a lot of legitimate points and concerns brought up at last night’s meeting. “I get it. When you are hit with an average $15,000 assessment for a project, that’s a lot. We do have arrangements to pay that over 10 to 15 years which will help out, but I certainly understand the concern, especially retired people and others on a fixed income.”

Schickel says city staff will review the concerns raised and try to do the right thing. “It’s about a $3.4 million project. The city is putting almost 50-percent of the money in on that, that’s more than we’ve ever put in before. The city council has a decision to make. There’s about 137 property owners there, and there’s about 30-percent of them that have objected, so we certainly understand the objections.”

Some residents of the neighborhood have said the streets are to the point where they aren’t even gravel anymore, they are mud. Schickel hopes they can find the right solution to make the improvements. “It would be wonderful to be able to pave that neighborhood. That’s a wonderful neighborhood down there with a lot of good people. I was so happy to see so many of them at the city council meeting. We had about 30-percent objecting. That means 70-percent did not object, and so we have to keep that in mind as well.”

The council will re-visit the Central Heights project at their February 5th meeting. Schickel made his comments on the “Ask the Mayor” program on AM-1300 KGLO earlier today. Listen back to the program via the audio player below


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