“They just pushed everything back one year,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
Reasoning behind this was to allow downtown business and building owners the chance to get back on their feet following several years of downtown construction.
Robyn Vandenberg, owner of a building downtown, said she was hoping that the members of City Council could offer some relief to downtown property owners and offer more time for businesses to make up for lost sales due to the ongoing reconstruction project.
“I feel, as a landlord, I can’t pass on these assessments because the tenants can’t pass on the cost at this time,” she said.
The special assessment is a total of $500,000. The cost will be split up and shared among those who have frontage along Washington Avenue, from Harbor Drive to Third Street.
“I believe we have the cash available to make the first payments,” McGinnis stated at Monday night’s meeting.
City Finance Director Jim Bonamy told council that because the funding has been delayed a year, the city was “going to have to draw money out of the general fund reserves to cover what we’ve got due” before the first round of payments come to the city from property owners.
Construction crews are currently putting the finishing touches on the downtown sidewalk and streetscape work. Work is nearing the final stages in the third block of Washington, and crews are making repairs elsewhere downtown.
It is anticipated that most work and the final course of asphalt will be placed on the road by Memorial Day weekend.