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Spruce Street fix might be paid for by neighborhood improvement district

Rebuilding Spruce Street — with new surface and storm drainage — would cost about $471,400. And it might be paid for by neighborhood residents through a limited improvement district.  - Journal file photo
Rebuilding Spruce Street — with new surface and storm drainage — would cost about $471,400. And it might be paid for by neighborhood residents through a limited improvement district.
— image credit: Journal file photo

Rebuilding Spruce Street — with new surface and storm drainage — would cost about $471,400. And it might be paid for by neighborhood residents through a limited improvement district.

Next to determine: Who will be in the limited improvement district. Town Administrator King Fitch said districts, or LIDs, or usually comprised of residents whose homes face an improvement. But in this case, more homes could be included because Spruce Street provides access to Hemlock Court, Green Way, and Alder Court. It becomes Rose Lane. The number of homes in the district is important — more homes means less property tax per owner.

With an LID, work funded by an additional property tax paid by LID residents for a specific amount of time.

Greenway neighborhood residents and town officials have long grappled over who should pay for improving Spruce Street. Town officials say the neighborhood was built in a wetland, and that the developer asked for an exemption from requirements for curbs, gutters and sidewalks in order to keep the costs of homes low.

As a result, Spruce Street is potholed, pools up in rainy season and becomes icy in winter. Neighborhood residents say the decisions that led to the street’s condition were made before they moved to the neighborhood. They have said that the town should fix the street because it’s a town street and it’s unsafe.

Town officials have questioned the fairness of putting the burden of improvement costs on other town residents. In addition, the town doesn’t have the money.

Richard Pederson of Green Way said he would support an LID, and believes his neighbors would too.

“I don’t drive it often because I live on Green Way. But it’s my neighborhood,” he said.

The Town Council will discuss the proposed LID on Aug. 5.

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