Dozens of Central Heights residents flood Mason City Council over street paving costs

The council voted to postpone the vote to give all sides more time to get the facts.

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 11:34 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2019 7:06 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Dozens of Mason City residents packed in to the Mason City Council meeting Tuesday to oppose a pavement project for the Central heights neighborhood. It's a project they petitioned for over a year ago.

“I work full-time, my husband works full-time and we barely make ends meet,” said one Mason City resident. “We have two kids that go to Newman and we struggle every day.
“I don’t know why I am being charged for this. The road my property is on is perfectly fine and paved.”
Some residents say they see it as a colossal tax increase.
“I received a preliminary assessment for $14,596,” said one resident.
“I received two for my two properties, one for $45,000 and another for $28,000.”
That money would go to fund the project and would be paid over a 10- to 15-year period, according to the city.

Neighbors, however, say that grants were available to pay for the repaving and accuse the city of blowing the money elsewhere.
“We know some went here, we know some went to West Haven, why didn’t it go to Central Heights?”
For its part, the city maintains there are no misspent funds and said there was never any money earmarked to pave Central Heights.
“I have a file that I looked at like a year ago when this project was starting to move forward that a state audit showed that money was spent where it was intended," said City Engineer Mark Rahm.
Rahm said those estimates are the maximum residents would have to pay and that the competitive bid process to construct the project would determine the actual cost. For now, the council voted to postpone the vote to give all sides more time to get the facts.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 35°
Albert Lea
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Austin
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 39°
Charles City
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Rochester
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 33°
Warmer weather is set to return this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

MN AP football poll

Image

Mayo falls to Lakeville South in Section semis

Image

Figuring out Rochester's city budget

Image

Parking lot proposal

Image

Kavars trial: Day One

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast

Image

Affordable housing preservation program

Image

cold weather rule

Image

Highway speed changes

Image

Golden Apple: Julie Lawler

Community Events