Debate Over 40th Street Continues - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Debate Over 40th Street Continues

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40th St. hasn't been a part of Dickinson for long.

"40th St. represents a new area of town that has grown out," says City Administrator Shawn Kessel. "It was our first annexation that we did in probably years."

It already has a problem that's pretty common in Dickinson: More traffic. As a result, the roads can't keep up.

"A traditional gravel road is not sufficient to carry the loads and the amount of traffic that happens," says Kessel. "The widths aren't there, the weight of the road isn't there."

That's why landowners and city officials want the road paved. The city originally offered to pay $5 million of the $7 million project. In that deal, however, landowners had just 30 days to figure out how to cover the other $2 million.

City officials say they offered that plan to avoid making the area a special assessment district. That means the city would pay the entire $7 million cost up front and have landowners pay back their $2 million over time. Officials say they wanted to avoid more debt for the city.

Nonetheless, 40th St. businesses and residents said 30 days wasn't enough time. So, at a meeting between landowners and city officials Thursday, city staff offered to use a special assessment district to get the project done faster.

"Whenever you have a city that grows out to existing properties there's bound to be friction," says Kessel.

And that friction will continue. The two sides did not make a decision, but Kessel says landowners want to see a map of the potential district and a breakdown of the possible cost for each landowner before they go further.


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