Wrong Total on Notification Letter Creates Worry About Street Costs

Assessments won’t change, but a notification letter that mistakenly provided an incorrect project cost had some confused.

A clerical mistake on a letter sent to residents had some homeowners wondering whether they’d see much bigger assessments than they were originally told.

That’s not going to happen, but a few homeowners were worried enough to attend a supplemental public hearing Tuesday that took place because of the oversight.

The 2012 street improvement is projected to cost about $3 million, but the notice mailed to homeowners Dec. 21 inadvertently said it would cost only about $1 million—the cost property owners are paying through assessments.

Although the resolution the council approved earlier used the correct total, mailed out a new notice with accurate figures and convened a supplemental public hearing to give residents another chance to comment. 

No new assessments are being considered,” the new notice emphasized in bold. “The public hearing is being held strictly to allow the City to bond for the project. The language of the notice is required by law.”

Yet it was clear the error created at least some confusion. The lone man who spoke at the hearing wandered how the project could grow by $2 million and how much the assessment he already paid would increase.

Officials emphasized again that project costs weren’t growing and that assessments weren’t changing.

“It was just a mistake. Someone put a one instead of a three or a three instead of a one,” Mayor Gene Maxwell said.

The project, which includes a realignment of Minnetonka Mills Road and improvements near Alice Smith, is on track to finish near Oct. 1. Click on the PDFs above to see a complete map of the project.


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