Timber Rivers Estates and Rolling Meadows Estates in Andover will have their streets repaired next year, but some residents will pay a high price.

A couple who have lived in Andover more than 50 years may face an assessment of nearly $30,000, while others residents will pay close to $10,000, and owners of smaller lots will pay about $5,400.

The Andover City Council ordered plans and specifications for the 2022 street reconstruction project Dec. 7. The council voted 4-1, with Council Member Valerie Holthus dissenting. Residents impacted by their assessment attended the public hearing held prior to the vote to voice their disapproval of the way lots were assessed.

Timber Rivers Estates and Rolling Meadows Estates are located west of Seventh Avenue, north of 169th Lane, south 173rd Avenue and east of the Rum River.

The reconstruction project will reclaim the existing bituminous roadway and pave a new surface, as well as replace the existing curb and gutter and repair storm sewers and culverts.

“The thickness of the bituminous surface needs to be reclaimed and replaced,” City Engineer David Berkowitz said.

The city will receive and award bids in February. Construction should begin in May, weather permitting, and end in August, Berkowitz said.

The $2.62 million project is funded partially by the city and through assessments.

The city assessed 25% of the project, or $654,060, to the benefiting homeowners, and the remaining costs, $1.96 million, come from the city’s road and bridge fund.

For this project, residents living on parcels larger than 2.5 acres have an estimated assessment of $9,990 per unit, and parcels under that size were assessed at $5,360.

“The actual final assessment costs are based on actual project costs,” Berkowitz said. “Typically what we see is projects come in less than what we estimate.”

The city identified one parcel that could subdivide into three lots, in which the assessment would cost $29,970 — $9,990 per unit for three potential units.

That 13-acre parcel belongs to residents John and Louise Melberg.

Their son, Andy, spoke on their behalf at the council meeting Dec. 7.

“They’ve owned this property since before Andover was a city,” Andy Melberg said. “Think about that. He’s been paying taxes on that for over 50 years.”

He said this assessment was nearly three times the cost of their first mortgage.

“At least, don’t further subdivide the large lots and penalize people with six times [the smaller lots’ assessment],” Andy Melberg said.

The lot was split into three based on each sublot having at least 2.5 acres and at least 300 feet touching the front of the road, associate planner Jake Griffiths said.

Council Member Holthus said she didn’t understand the reasoning for subdividing the 13-acre lot when the owners haven’t expressed interest.

“When I first saw this, I kind of balked at the assumption that the owner was going to split it into three different lots,” Holthus said.

Berkowitz explained the assumed subdivision was within city policy.

“It is in our policy that if you have a lot that’s subdividable, can meet the city’s standard for a rural lot — meaning a 2.5-acre lot, the 300 feet of front footage and the buildable area within that — then it is considered ... subdividable and you can assess that,” Berkowitz said.

Many residents at the public hearing and the November informational meeting said they wanted the assessment to be split evenly amount the affected parties, rather than by lot size.

Andover resident Jason Sichler voiced his disapproval of assessing properties by lot size versus assessing per unit.

“You’re not doing what you’ve done in the past as a city,” Sichler said. “I’m confused by that. Why, because you own over 2.5 acres, why we’re assessed almost $4,000 more.”

Stacia Sichler, Jason Sichler’s wife, voiced a similar concern.

“The fair way to do it is that we all split it equally, right?” Stacia Sichler said.

Fellow resident Curtis Slater said just because his lot is larger, that doesn’t mean he drives more cars than any of his neighbors.

Slater pleaded for the council to not divide its residents.

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