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City to start collecting on Eighth Street project
Bonds will be sold, property owners along stretch to pay
eighth street bond pic
The Great Bend City Council Monday night OKed the sale of bonds to pay for the recent Eighth Street expansion project between Grant and McKinley streets.

The cost of the recent Eighth Street expansion project between Grant and McKinley streets will now be in the hands of the property owners along the three-block stretch. The City Council Monday night approved the sale of general obligation bonds for the project.

At the May 20 meeting, the council approved an ordinance which gave notification to the property owners within the benefit district that unless such assessments are paid by June 21, bonds will be issued, City Clerk/Finance Director Shawna Schafer said. No payments were received, and the amount of special assessments will be certified to the Clerk of Barton County and will be collected in 10 annual installments.

This was just the next step in a long process.

A public hearing on the cost assessments was held May 20 for both the street and sewer/water improvements. A notice was published in the Great Bend Tribune on May 22 and notices were mailed certified to each of the property owners on May 24. 

The improvements have been paid for by the city using money from the temporary note. The final assessment costs for the street, sewer improvements and water improvements were $707,419.88, $61,456.25 and $96,123.87, respectively, for a total project cost of $865,000. 

However, this is a petition project, meaning it is ultimately paid for by a benefit district made up of businesses and property owners along the stretch of street. Special assessments charged to these owners will cover the cost of the work. 

Walmart owns two strips on the east end and Lighthouse Investments of Great Bend owns entire field that fronts the south edge of the street. These two amount to 54 percent of the property involved.

Trail Ridge Partners, developers of the Reserves at Trail Ridge apartments, and Tractor Supply, and Gentilly Real Estate of New Orleans, La., owners of the former Montana Mikes building, are also included. 

Venture Corporation of Great Bend, the contractor on the street project, finished by the end of December. But, there was more to this than the street; there are also the waterline and sanitary sewers beneath it. These were finished by the end of January to accommodate the development of the new Tractor Supply store at Eighth and Grant. 

Last fall, the Great Bend City Council authorized the sale of general obligation temporary notes to pay for the street, sewer and water improvements. 

This effort is important now with the ongoing construction at 10th and Grant. Eighth acts as a detour route.