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Dundee City Council defers judgement on LID for Highway 99W


Land use — Proposed local improvement district would help cover the costs of new sidewalks, curbs and streetlights

After hearing testimony from roughly a dozen local property owners last week, the Dundee City Council voted to defer its decision on a proposed local improvement district along Highway 99W to its Sept. 3 meeting, pending further analysis of possible funding sources.

“They want to be deliberate about this; they want to make a good decision,” City Administrator Rob Daykin said of the council. “It’s a particularly complex project, because you have all these different financing sources.”by: GARY ALLEN - Many landowners involved - If passed by the Dundee City Council, a local improvement district will pave the way for new curbs, gutters and sidewalks on a stretch of Highway 99W from First Street to Niederberger Road and Parks Way.

Daykin said the lion’s share of funding for the project — which would, among other things, add sidewalks and improve street lighting along Highway 99W — is coming through an approximately $1.5 million transportation enhancement grant, which consists of federal tax dollars distributed by the state. The city of Dundee’s match for the grant was $175,000, and it is paying an additional $300,000 for legally mandated waterline improvements related to the project, Daykin said.

The city began looking into the possibility of the LID after it was determined that the grant, even combined with additional funding streams, still would be insufficient to cover the full cost of fixing or replacing sidewalks and driveways along Highway 99W that are in disrepair or otherwise fail to meet the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“When we did the measurements, there was not a single driveway that met the current ADA standards except the Arco station,” Daykin said. “So that was a big cost we didn’t anticipate. But the council said, rather than scaling back the project, let’s see if we can augment the budget and try to find additional funding sources.”

Approximately 50 property owners are involved in the proposed LID, which would stretch along Highway 99W from First Street to Niederberger Road and Parks Drive. According to Daykin, the property owners included “a mix of individuals,” which makes for a diversity of opinions.

“There are some who own vacant land, some who own commercial property, and there are even a few residents who live along the highway as well,” he said. “So there are all these different perspectives.”

According to the proposed conditions of the district, the owners will be responsible for 100 percent of the construction of new curbs, 50 percent of the cost of construction of sidewalks and 75 percent of the cost for driveways, with the city covering the difference. The estimated assessments run the gamut from a few hundred to nearly $40,000, though Daykin pointed out that the amounts the owners would be responsible for is still only a fraction of the total cost of the improvements to their properties.

“Also, we hope this is a very conservative estimate, and when we go out to bid, we’re hoping that the final assessments will be less,” he said.

Even so, Daykin said about a dozen representatives of properties proposed for inclusion in the LID appeared at the hearing last week, some of whom expressed concern about the district’s estimated assessments.

“I would say most of them did have questions about the costs and the fairness issue, because they wondered if more people should be paying for it,” he said. “That’s why the council wanted to revisit financing options and explore that more.”

Under the current proposal, final assessments would be based upon actual costs and issued upon the completion of the project. Property owners would then have 30 days to pay the assessment in full or in part. Owners could also elect to pay a portion or the entirety of the assessment in installments over a 10-year period. Unpaid assessments could be subject to foreclosure by the city.

Daykin said one thing the council plans to consider at its Sept. 3 meeting will be whether the proposed 10-year payment period could be extended.

According to Oregon law, included residents age 62 or older would be able to apply for a state-sponsored deferral program in the event the LID is approved.