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Council chooses second option for Homewood Hills work

During a special meeting Wednesday of the Worthington City Council, council members opted to proceed with the assessment for a Homewood Hills street construction project completed in 2020 that has been maligned by several city residents.

City staff had been directed during a council meeting last October to follow up with the residents of Homewood Hills and identify all available options regarding adoption of Paving Assessment No. 118. Staff ultimately received a comprehensive list of items that residents felt are inadequate.

Assessments for the project, which was completed by Hulstein Exca are planned to begin in 2024. The city has paid $1,185,000 in bond principal and interest with no assessments currently being collected. The total project cost is $3,079,535.03, and the current assessment stands at $804,008.39, equivalent to $42.658 per linear foot. A deduction of approximately 1% has already been made from the total project construction cost.

On Wednesday, council members considered options that included: making a 5% deduction from the total assessment, proceeding with the assessment and the city's allocation of funds for repairs, which could begin in 2024; and partial deduction of the total assessment as well as city-funded repairs.

Ultimately, council members unanimously approved going forward with the second option. City Councilman Chad Cummings said during discussion that he believed any action taken by the council would set a precedent for every street construction project in the city that’s to come. Cummings also asked that this and other projects be considered in terms of structural quality, as opposed to merely needing some repairs.

City staff was directed Wednesday as part of approval of the second option to coordinate a list of repairs needed for the Homewood Hills project as well as a timeline for the work.

In the only other agenda item scheduled for Wednesday's special meeting, council members approved a settlement agreement with Duininck Inc. as compensation for poor workmanship and future maintenance pertaining to the Olson Park Trail Improvement project that was completed in the latter part of 2022.

The project included reconstruction of approximately 3,815 linear feet of 6-inch depth by 10-foot wide concrete paving and 2,825 linear feet of mill and 1-inch bituminous overlay. While the structural integrity of the concrete portion of the trail appears acceptable, Director of Public Works Todd Weitzema said, surface imperfections and poor control joints were present throughout. It’s the city’s concern that the anticipated life of the concrete may be compromised and thus require sooner-than-expected maintenance and replacement. Approximately 65-percent of this portion of the trail has been impacted by workmanship quality.

The approved cash settlement of $127,3000 represents 65 percent of the concrete paving portion of the entire project.

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