Letter to the editor: Reconsider Queens
To the editor:
Homeowners along Queens Road recently voted 251 to 3 asking City Hall to reconsider its plan to improve our little-used back road.
In 2016, the Journal-World reported that homeowners might be expected to pay $1 million to repave Queens Road, which motivated many to attend the public hearing in June 2017. This hearing was our first opportunity to learn City Hall expected us to pay $5 million for a new signal and a street three times wider than the existing road at a cost four times greater than a standard city street.
The hearing made it clear to me that neither a need nor technical justification supported the signal or the street’s greater width. In response, commissioners sought alternatives to reduce the project’s cost and assess taxes in a more equitable manner. It also exposed weaknesses in a project development process that left some homeowners with three or more existing assessments for streets while neighboring homeowners had none. Similarly, it brought to light problems with “no-protest agreements,” executed with developers decades before and buried deep inside county records, which apparently commit longtime homeowners to pay for projects whether known to the public or not.
Because these issues were not adequately addressed at a subsequent hearing in October 2018, it seems premature to impose special assessments at the hearing scheduled for Dec. 4.