Some Missoula residents face steep cost for sidewalks, curbs

    Some Missoula residents face steep cost for sidewalks, curbs

    In November, 173 property owners in Missoula’s Slant Streets neighborhood received a letter from the city letting them know about a proposed project to build sidewalks and curbs on their property.

    Some of the highest assessments are tens of thousands of dollars. One property owner could face a $38,882.60 bill for sidewalk and curbs around her home on Edith Street.

    “We want property owners to know what their assessments could potentially be, so we put that information in there,” said city engineer Kevin Slovarp. “Those estimates are exactly that -- they’re estimates that we’ve collected out in the field.”

    If the city council approves the project, they’ll start taking bids from contractors. He says the estimated costs will likely decrease once they select a contractor, but still some of those estimates are pretty steep.

    When a property owner has an assessment under $1,000 the city will pay for the work. For those with an assessment, the city will subsidize up to $16,500.

    Slovarp cited an example of a $20,000 assessment. He said in that case the property owner would pay $3,500 and the city would pay $16,500.

    For those with assessments substantially more than $20,000, they could still face a large bill. And for those with those steep bills, Slovarp says there are financing options.

    Slovarp says he and his staff are encouraging people who received letters to voice their concerns at the Public Works Committee meeting on Dec. 12. The city council will hold a public hearing and possibly vote on the project on Dec. 17.

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