GREENVILLE – On Thursday evening, Greenville City Council met in special session with property owners on Wagner Avenue north of Lowes to discuss the proposed expansion project. The project was originally expected to be a five-lane road, but the city’s administration and Choice One Engineering believe that expanding the road to three lanes would be adequate due to current and estimate traffic in the future.
With current estimates, the city’s share would be over $388,000 and the property owners along that portion of the road would pay the remaining $1.48 million of the $1.8 million project through an assessment on their taxes.
The city has secured a zero-interest loan that will be paid back over 30 years. Although it is unclear as to how long the assessment will be for the property owners, one proposal has it at 20 years, which would essentially equal 23+ years of payments due to the amount being assessed each. The city’s share would be paid back at the end of the loan. Safety Service Director Curt Garrison believes development on these properties and the resulting income tax and increase in property values will essentially pay the city’s portion.
Chad Henry, city planning & zoning director, said the city has learned developers are not interested in building roads. They’ve heard that from other developers for projects in the city, including one developer who chose to put the funds in escrow and let the city do the work.
Geoff Surber, one of the property owners, spoke in favor of the project and echoed Henry’s comments. “It allows the smaller players to come in and build something,” he said.
Other property owners questioned their assessments and how the cost was figured. Matt Hoying, project manager for Choice One Engineering, explained the cost was determined by acreage, linear feet along the roadway and entrances into the property. The assessment would cover the cost of the road expansion, installation of utilities and curbs and gutters. Hoying stressed the city’s portion includes the cost of grading and asphalting the current road as well as the road expansion, curbs, sidewalks and utilities at their property (detention pond).
It is now up to council to determine if they want to proceed with a Resolution of Necessity to allow for the assessment. They must also decide if they want to go with the proposed 20-year assessment or give property owners longer to pay. The city is expected to receive the loan documents by the beginning of July. Garrison believes the project could be put out for bid by fall and work could begin early next year.