ROCHESTER, Minn. - On Monday night, Rochester City Council unanimously approved North Broadway property assessments and agreed to open bids for the reconstruction project.
Several property and business owners are preparing to push back.
Dan Zimmer owns the building that houses Broadway Laundromat, Wild Goose Sports, and Minske and Dicke's Custom Rods. He's already sought legal help to file an objection in Olmsted County District Court.
Zimmer is concerned that when a median is built in front of his property, it will decrease easy access to the businesses in his building and customers will go elsewhere. "We're hoping to stay open, but there's no guarantee," he says. Between the assessment costs and a potential loss in customer spending, he fears if the businesses in his building will be able to stay open.
"Having the median in the blocks instead of stretching through intersections, that was a compromise made between the city and the business owners and I appreciate that, but then you're still asking me to pay for a road that's not going to benefit my company," Zimmer explains.
While Zimmer doesn't disagree that North Broadway could use an update, he's concerned about affordability of the assessments. He's also concerned that the bike and bus-friendly design plan of the North Broadway project won't benefit his customer base. He says the majority of the laundromat customers take cars, taxis, and ubers to do their laundry; and many Wild Goose Sports customers drive trucks with attached trailers or boats to the store.
KIMT also spoke on the phone to Samaritan Bethany, which is also filing an objection. Its assessment is roughly $219,000, a nearly $200,000 increase from the first assessment. The nursing home isn't on North Broadway; Its address is on 8th Street Northwest. Samaritan Bethany tells KIMT the organization feels frustrated. Its residents won't benefit from the North Broadway reconstruction, so why should it foot the bill?
Property owners have 30 days to file an objection.