Owosso approves final Gould project, assessments

The Owosso City Council has approved a $1.24-million resurfacing project for part of Gould Street, shown in a June 2020 photo.

OWOSSO — A project to repave part of Gould Street near Owosso High School has received the green light.

During Tuesday’s virtual meeting, Owosso City Council members unanimously finalized a plan to improve about a half a mile (2,633 feet) of Gould, from Oliver Street north to Moore Street.

The vote came after a public hearing on the special assessment roll, at which no resident spoke.

Gould, as a direct route to the high school, sees an average of more than 4,000 vehicles per day, according to a traffic count.

“This is a major street,” City Manager Nathan Henne said. “There should be no surprise that a lot of cars utilize this street.”

The road has been rated in fair condition by city engineers. It was last resurfaced in the early 2000s, City Manager Nathan Henne said, adding traffic counts are used to decide engineering needs, not the necessity of the project.

Out of the total project cost of $1.179 million, a Federal Small Urban Grant Program award through the Michigan Department of Transportation is contributing $375,000. The city is using $804,000 from the Umlimited Obligation Bond Proceeds Fund.

“It’s very unusual that we get a grant for one of these projects, so that’s really good,” Mayor Chris Eveleth said.

Henne said the road project fell in the city’s lap after MDOT officials contacted him about applying early for the Small Urban program.

He said he has since been meeting with MDOT officials to explore whether Owosso can apply on a different schedule, which would increase the city’s chances of receiving Small Urban grants in the future.

The total cost eligible for special assessment is $573,000, with the city paying $383,4000 (67 percent), residents contributing $140,500 (24 percent) and Caledonia Township kicking in $49,000 (9 percent). The assessments will be spread over 10 years.

Breaking down the total assessment cost burden, the city share is 55 percent, residential share is 11 percent, grant share, 30 percent and township share, 4 percent.

The project includes street reconstruction along with some curb and gutter repairs, sidewalk improvements, select sidewalk repairs and storm sewers — the cost of which is not part of the special assessment roll.

Eveleth said, in response to a number letters he said the city has received regarding the special assessment roll, that the assessment amounts can be repaid over a period of years, up to 20.

In addition, the mayor said, residents can apply for financial relief from the assessments, based on financial hardship.

City staff recently recommended the following street sections for resurfacing in 2021. Each project will be paid for, in part, with special assessment funds.

The projects are:

n Garfield Avenue, from south end to Corunna Avenue

n Lincoln Avenue, from Farr Avenue to Monroe Street

n McMillan Avenue, from south end to Industrial Drive

n Park Street, from Harper Street to Ridge Street

n Pearce Street, from South Street to Francis Street

n South Street, from McMillan Avenue to Aiken Road

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