By Alan Sorensen
An urban highway and 12-inch water main could be skirting the south end of Havre within three or four years with city council and voter approval.
Annmarie Robinson of Bear Paw Development Corporation explained the $1 million project during a public hearing Monday night prior to the city council meeting at city hall.
The construction project would result in a thoroughfare from 14th Avenue around the high school and Fifth Avenue Christian Church. The route would then join Fifth Avenue and travel south a short distance before turning west again on a city right of way just south of the First Church of the Nazarene. It would proceed west and then turn north beyond Beaver Creek Boulevard. It would join the road that runs along the east side of the hospital and then tie in with 13th Street.
The project would include a 12-inch water main buried under the roadway. The main would complete a circuit of the city. Robinson said the line would ensure that water could be routed from either direction to supply homes that would otherwise be without water in the event of a water line break or other problem.
Robinson said that the route's plan calls for a slightly curved roadway linking 14th Avenue to 12th Avenue. The roadway would travel through the city land just south of the Eighth Street where it joins 14th Avenue and join up with 12th Avenue near Legion Field.
The road would then extend 12th Avenue behind Heritage addition, turn right at the Verploegen property and run between the Ray Floren home and the volleyball courts where it would join up with Bullhook Boulevard. Where Bullhook veers to the right behind the high school, the urban highway would continue straight to Fifth Avenue.
Robinson said the project is estimated to cost $1 million and change. She said that the $1,043,000 funding required for the water main project could come from TSEP (Treasure State Endowment Program) grant, revenue bonds, and creation of a special improvement district (SID).
The TSEP ceiling of $500,000 requires a 50 percent match from the participating community. In this case, Robinson said, the city could raise $271,000 through the issuance of revenue bonds and $271,000 through an SID. The SID would require a public vote.
To pay off the revenue bonds, which Robinson explained would probably be a low-interest 4 percent loan, the city would have to collect an additional $2,056 in water rates from affected water users. The 3,560 waters users on the system would pay on average an extra 58 cents per month.
Robinson explained that the application deadline for the TSEP grant is May 5, so she asked that the city council consider voting on the proposal at its May 1 meeting. The council voted unanimously to allow Robinson to go ahead with the plan and to present it to the council at its next meeting on May 1.
If Havre voters turned down the SID proposal, the additional money required to complete the project could come from increased water rates and from increased hook-up fees.
Robinson said project, if approved at all levels, could probably get under construction as early as 2003.