Fenton Twp. — Residents on Four Lakes Avenue and surrounding roads were surprised when the cost estimate for fixing their roads jumped from $1,700 to $4,614.84 per parcel.
At the Monday, June 3 Fenton Township Board of Trustees meeting, residents in the Four Lakes Street Improvement Special Assessment District spoke for more than hour about the revised cost and condition of the roads. The board ultimately tabled the discussion and told the residents to bring back new petitions.
In the summer of 2018, a majority of residents in the district signed a petition in favor of an assessment to pay for upgrades on their roads. Originally, the district included Four Lakes Avenue, West Four Lakes Drive, Sadler Drive, Squaw Lake Drive and Isleview Drive.
They received an initial projected cost of $200,007. The cost would have been $1,699.12 for parcels in the district and fronting the improvement, $1,274.34 for parcels fronting Emerald Pointe and $424.78 for parcels fronting Crystal Cove Court. Emerald and Crystal roads are adjacent streets.
The special assessment roll for the Four Lakes Street Improvement Special Assessment District was adopted August 2018.
However, according to township meeting minutes, “During the process of finalizing the construction agreement for the project, the township was advised that the cost proposal used as the basis for the special assessment was not calculated correctly by the contractor.”
The committee of property owners that oversaw the process solicited new proposals over the winter. The goal was to complete the street improvements in 2019.
The district now includes Crystal Cove Court and Emerald Pointe, as well as the original streets listed above, and is projected to cost $618,388.56. This amounts to $4,614.84 per parcel.
The price also increased because the scope of construction was more extensive and expensive to achieve a longer life expectancy. Because the original costs increased by more than 10 percent, the board was required to hold a public hearing so property owners could provide input.
One of the involved residents, Mark Shantz, said when this was originally passed, the idea was to remove the top few inches of asphalt “as needed” on five streets. But if they redid the street, it would have a longer life expectancy. The current roads are approximately 24 years old. Shantz said they wanted a road that would last another 25 years as opposed to eight.
“What it comes down to is what do we need to do?” he said. “Is it a 2-inch overlay like we were going to do last year? Or a complete rebuild?”
Opinions from the audience were mixed. Joe Jenio, president of Emerald Pointe Property Owners Association, said they were supportive of the petition last year and that they only have one area on the road that needs to be fixed. Jenio would rather see the potholes filled.
Mike Miller, on Crystal Cove, said the majority of people on his street support fixing the roads. “I’d prefer to see it done all the way through,” he said.
Linda Moorhouse, on Isleview Drive, said the six residents on her street are “100 percent” in. Roger Polk, on Four Lakes Avenue, said the asphalt is breaking in certain spots and that it’s only going to get worse. Mark Osburn said it’s not fair that they haven’t had the opportunity to sign another petition on the higher cost.
Thomas Broecker, operations manager/deputy clerk, said the district was not required to circulate another petition after hearing the new cost.
But, they will now. Clerk Robert Krug, who ran the meeting in Supervisor Bonnie Mathis’s absence, made a motion to continue this topic of discussion at the next meeting on June 17 after residents submit petitions stating who is for and against the assessment.