Special assessments for new interchange to impact more than 100 property owners

The new I-90 Interchange will be built at Lear Road. Press graphic

The new I-90 Interchange will be built at Lear Road. Press graphic

Avon

By Rebecca Turman

Property owners who will pay for assessments to help fund the construction of the new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns during a public informational meeting Thursday.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

While the city will need to acquire property from 31 landowners to build the interchange, Avon Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said approximately 105 property owners will be assessed as a result of the interchange being built.

On May 17, city officials sent out an informational letter to those who will be impacted by the assessments. The letter states the interchange, which will cost an estimated $28 million, will be paid from three separate sources:

1) “A contribution from The Jacobs Group totaling a third of total construction costs. This payment will likely be paid by The Jacobs Group as a voluntary assessment on some of the property owned by The Jacobs Group located near the interchange.

2) “The city will pay for a third of the total construction costs from anticipated income tax revenues and payments made in lieu of taxes in a number of districts that have been designated for this purpose by the city (TIF revenues).

3) “The final third will be paid by levying special assessments on property owners specifically benefited by the construction of the interchange.”

In the letter, the city states the assessment is in lieu of Ohio state contributions to the cost of the interchange. Construction costs also have increased “and the current estimate is more than the city reasonably expects to have available to pay from its general revenues or TIF revenues.”

According to the letter, special assessments will not be “levied” until interchange construction is complete, sometime in late 2012 or early 2013. Those who will be assessed can either pay off the amount in full or pay it over a 20-year period, with interest accumulated, “at the same time real estate taxes become due and payable.”

Those with agricultural exemptions can defer paying special assessments until their property is sold or developed. This includes the sale of right-of-way to the city.

Essentially, the city will loan money for those special assessments. However, once the property is sold or developed, owners will have to reimburse the city for the full amount that was deferred, plus interest accrued.

Colliers Ostendorf-Morris, an independent appraiser hired by the city to review the “Benefited District,” compiled a summary of how the benefit to property owners from the interchange was calculated. Factors taken into consideration were proximity to the interchange, visibility from I-90, existing access and zoning. For a full explanation of the “Location Evaluation Criteria,” read here.

“June of next year,” is when the city will need to have an official financing package in place, Piazza said, adding, the interchange plans are “still moving along.”

The city had hoped to have the right of way authorized at the end of April, but that has still not happened, Piazza said.

“(We had a) change on the northwest quadrant,” he said. “We need a little further back … recalculated right-of-way taken from Petitti’s and the cell tower company.”

“It’s part of the reason we have to have this meeting next Thursday before they will authorize the right-

of-way,” he said.

Stage 2 of the interchange was submitted to the Ohio Department of Transportation earlier this month.

“Stage 2, from what I gather, there’s not many comments coming back,” he said, which is a good thing.

As part of the city’s original timeline, the hope is to have Stage 3 plans, final engineering, submitted by July 2.

“Stage 3 can be approved without the right of way being certified,” Piazza said.

Contact Rebecca Turman at rturman@2presspapers.com

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