Meadowgreen lot owners get improvement estimates

Subdivision is first in county to create, use Limited Improvement District

— Lot improvements will cost Meadowgreen at Stagecoach owners between $20,000 and $40,000 but could triple the lot values, according to an assessor's estimates.

Routt County commissioners are scheduled to adopt a resolution today approving the estimated costs of the improvements.

In November, residents of the subdivision voted to pay for the improvements through up to $1.8 million in county-issued bonds. The improvements include grading, drainage, paved streets, water and sewer service, and electric and telephone service. The project likely will cost about $1.5 million, Routt County attorney John Merrill said.

An assessor recently determined how much each lot is worth, how much each will be worth after the improvements are made, and how much the improvements will cost to make on each lot. Each of the 50 lots is worth between $20,000 and $30,000 before the improvements, and will be worth between $75,000 and $85,000 after.

Meadowgreen is the first subdivision in the county to form a local improvement district, in which property owners in a small area can vote to take out debt to finance improvements. Even if some property owners don't want to be responsible for their share of the debt, they can be forced to pay it if other property owners vote to take on the debt.

County officials expect that more property owners in the Stagecoach area will become part of the special districts to make their lots usable.

Once county commissioners approve the Meadowgreen appraisals, lot owners will have 30 days to pay their share of the costs in full or pay those costs over the next 20 years.

Since the November vote, the county has heard from the owners of two lots, who said they supported the improvements but were not prepared to pay almost $40,000 per lot. Another lot owner said in earlier meetings that paying for improvements on his three lots would be a waste as he already had a home with its own water, sewer and electric supply on one lot. That home is the only one built in the 50-lot subdivision, county commissioners said.

Lot owners who can't pay for the improvements can object to the portion of the total cost they were assigned or can sell their lots, Merrill said.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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