Residents hoping for a second entrance to the St. Andrews subdivision got advice from the Union transportation commission.
After a July rainstorm flooded St. Andrews Drive at the roundabout, residents in the neighborhood pushed for a second entrance. St. Andrews Drive is the only way in or out of the neighborhood of around 350 lots.
The flooding prompted several residents to meet with city officials in August to discuss how to add a second entrance. The city’s position was that it would help in a public/private partnership.
Aldermen said they would be willing to have city crews work on building a road, but the project would be paid for by the residents. Nothing moved forward, however, because several residents at the August meeting spoke out against building a second entrance.
Aldermen told the residents to come together and reach a consensus before moving forward.
At the Sept. 5 transportation commission meeting, transportation board members were briefed on the issue.
Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder told the committee a second entrance has been platted on the plans for the neighborhood, but hasn’t been built. That plan calls for the road to extend off Augusta Place and connect with an outside road.
The connection was never made by the developers.
In August, City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said his rough estimate is the project would cost $350,000. He said a bridge has to be built which increases the costs.
To pay for it, he said each lot in the neighborhood could be assessed a portion of the cost.
For simple math Zimmermann said, if there are 400 homes and the project is $400,000 a $1,000 assessment would be placed on each lot. The assessment could be paid out over time. A failure to pay would result on a lien against the property.
The committee didn’t take a side on if the road was needed. Committee member Steve Dickey wondered if the road was necessary. He said if the flooding has only happened twice in 19 years, it may not be worth the costs. On the other hand, Dickey said the access would be important on the rare occasions the main entrance was blocked.
Mayor Rod Tappe said a second entrance might be needed for emergency operations.
A former police officer, Tappe said access is important.
“Seconds save lives,” he said.
Schmieder said the city left it with the ball in the subdivision’s court. Schmieder said aldermen instructed the residents both for and against to get together and decide the best way to move forward.
Ed Schoppenhorst and Howard Moore, two residents who circulated a petition supporting the second entrance, were at the meeting and said they were unsure how to proceed. Moore said he was unsure if the subdivision would ever really reach a consensus.
Moore said he didn’t know how or when a meeting could take place and said it would likely be impossible to get 100 percent buy in on either said.
Commission members suggest starting a homeowners association. Currently one does not exist in the neighborhood.
With an association, the neighborhood could have meetings, collect money and reach decisions. Some members suggested meeting with a lawyer and seeing how to form an association.
Committee member Steve Weinhold suggested a different route — at least at first. Weinhold said the most important thing for the homeowners who want a second entrance is to make sure it’s possible.
Any second entrance would need a right of way from the Union Development Corporation (UDC). Weinhold said the neighbors pushing for the entrance should reach out and see if the UDC is even interested in working with the subdivision.
“I wouldn’t spend a penny on anything unless you know if UDC is willing to sell,” Weinhold said.
Schmieder said he works closely with the UDC and the group meets regularly. He said he would try to get the request on the board’s next meeting agenda.
The St. Andrews residents thanked the commission for their advice and help in spurring the project forward.