Public Hearing Held For Juneau Street Reconstruction Projects

(Juneau) The Juneau Common Council Tuesday night held a public hearing for a pair of street reconstruction projects. Residents on Downie Drive and Leonard Avenue were in attendance at the community center to voice their concerns about the inclusion of sidewalks in the $487-thousand-dollar project. The property owners argued that the sidewalks are seldom used being on a dead end and a cul-de-sac. Sidewalks are the one portion of the reconstruction that individual homeowners are assessed for the entire cost. The sidewalk portion totals $77-thousand dollars, which is roughly 16-percent of the total project. Costs per homeowner range from $3000 to $8000. The council approved the assessments, with sidewalks included, with one dissenting vote and one abstention. Alderman Curt Arndt cast the abstention because he lives on the street in question and will be assessed the sidewalk costs. Arndt did go on the record saying that he is against sidewalks. The council did amend the resolution to allow taxpayers to be charged the same interest rate that the city gets in borrowing for the project, which officials say should be lower than the four-and-a-half-percent (4.5%) that is estimated. Construction is slated to begin in April with completion expected in mid-June.