Papka street project halted by formal protests

City has no plans at the moment to move forward with a new plan

Map of Hettinger (RGB)

By COLE BENZ
Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

The Papka 1st Addition street project has been halted by formal protests. North Dakota Century Code says that property owners have the right to formally protest if there is a special assessment required to pay for the work. Those protests were due to the city—in writing—by Sunday, July 31. If 50 percent of the square footage of the area being assessed was protested, the project would be stopped.

At the city council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 10, the council formally added up the protests they received and they accounted for close to 80 percent of the total land being assessed. The total area of the project was 1,503,900 square feet, and the lots that were protested totaled 1,190,046.

According to sources with the city, a project has not been stopped by this processes in over a decade. Though there were a few residents of the area that didn’t sign or submit a formal protest, no one came forward in support of the project.

Initial estimates for the cost of the project was north of $2 million, and early estimates of what it could have cost the property owners was as high as $4,627.08 per year per lot for a 10-year bond, and as low as $2,765.13 for a 20-year bond per year per lot, but it would have been up to a special assessment board to determine how the cost would have been divided among the property owners.

The project would have consisted of curb, gutter, asphalt street paving, and fixing the draining issue. One way they would have solved the draining problem would to have been to install a detention pond, or an area of low-level land where storm water would have settled before a controlled draining process would have occurred. Storm sewers or ditches would need to be installed in the pond for drainage.

A few residents attended the August city council meeting, and the council told them they could put together another proposal and submit it. But as of now, there are no plans to continue with the Papka project.