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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 02, 2012, 09:22 PM

Street reconstruction costs have homeowners fighting back

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) -- Wahpeton homeowners say they're shocked. A letter from the city says a street reconstruction project could cost them more than $20,000 each. Homeowners are fighting back, desperately trying to keep costs low.

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) -- Wahpeton homeowners say they're shocked. A letter from the city says a street reconstruction project could cost them more than $20,000 each. Homeowners are fighting back, desperately trying to keep costs low.

To homeowner Cicely Bile, it's pretty obvious. Cottonwood Court is in rough shape.

Cicely Bile - Cottonwood Court Homeowner: "They are so bad, constantly bumping down the road."

Wahpeton city staff are planning to spruce it up, doing a full reconstruction of the street.

Jim Sturdevant - Wahpeton Mayor: "We've had requests from property owners."

That's only the beginning, and this project comes at a high price. One proposal cost more than $300,000, tacking on about $20,000 on each home-owner's bill.

Cicely Bile: "They want to re-do the water going to everyone's house. They also want to do sidewalks and things. We think is very unnecessary since we live on a court."

Other homeowners say the road is awful.

Grenville Miller - Cottonwood Court Resident: "Oh man, some of those holes are deep."

Yet the price is not worth the pay-off.

Grenville Miller: "We can't afford that. $45,000 a piece - MAN!"

Homeowners we talked with agree: something has to be done to fix this road, but the problem lies with the extras the city was tacking on.

Mayor Jim Sturdevant: "There's resistance on the sidewalk, there's resistance and questions on why the water line has to be moved, and of course do we have to remove the storm sewer. Well, we're looking for a better grade."

The proposed project has been delayed once, years ago and costs are only going up. The city says those updates are a must for infrastructure, and safety.

Cicely Bile: "If they do that they should gate off our road, and you should have a pass to get in because we are pretty much paying to have everything done."

The city is getting estimates to create a more concrete plan They'll that plan to homeowners, hoping for a compromise on construction.

The city is pushing for the reconstruction to start later this summer.

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