Assessment figures set for Regions Way repairs

Staff Reporter
The Destin Log
Large portions of Regions Way are in need of repairs. A special assessment process has been put in place to fund the repairs.

City leaders now have an outline in place for the special assessment process necessary to acquire and improve Regions Way.

"This is a private road in need of pretty significant repair," City Manager Greg Kisela said.

The roadway, which connects Crystal Beach Drive and U.S. Highway 98, was constructed in the late 80s and stretches approximately 1,130 feet. Over the years, it was poorly maintained and property owners had approached the city to help with the costly repairs.

The city council agreed to the takeover, as long as the cost to make the necessary repairs was not coming from city coffers, and the roadway would be turned over to the city as part of the process.

Camille Tharpe from Tallahassee-based Government Services Group presented the council with a layout of the process during Monday night's City Council meeting.

Tharpe said once the roadway was acquired by the city, taxes and fees would have to be paid before any actual improvements could be made. Improvements include demolishing and reconstructing a substantial portion of the road and ribbon curbing, milling and resurfacing the least degraded sections and incorporating roadside swales for stormwater treatment and control.

The project, according to Tharpe, will cost $202,853.84, although the final price tag can vary based on a variety of factors.

Property owners along Regions Way will be responsible for repaying the project costs to the city at an annual amount of $51,488.05 through a non-ad valorem assessment for five years at 5 percent interest. Individual payment amounts will vary based on a specific formula that takes into account trips generated on the roadway.

Property owners will have the ability to prepay their assessment prior to financing, which will avoid their assessment being placed on their tax bill, Tharpe said.

Up next for the process is the first reading of the home rule ordinance Jan. 4. A series of public hearings will follow and notices will be sent out to affected property owners.

A public hearing to adopt the final assessment resolution will be held Feb. 15 and the prepayment period will start Feb. 16. A certified tax roll will be sent to the Okaloosa County Tax Collector's office by Sept. 15.