NEW CASTLE — Tonight the Town Council, at its first regular meeting of 2014, will consider sending a letter to the Warrior Acquisitions partnership, which last year bought up the remains of the decade-old Lakota Canyon project, about the town’s estimate that roughly $700,000 worth of work is needed on utility installations and the subdivision’s streets before the town can accept them as public property.
“Before we take them over they have to be signed off by our engineers,” said Town Manager Tom Baker, referring to engineering consultant Jeff Simonson’s report that the subdivision’s roads are subsiding in spots where the earth apparently was not compacted correctly when utilities were installed by the original developers.
According to a letter from town attorney David McConaughy to Walter Bolen of Warrior Acquisitions, the company is expected to post a security guarantee for warranty work on Faas Ranch Road, Spur Drive and Deer Valley, all of it totaling approximately $722,000.
Simonson, an engineer with SGM Inc., wrote in a Dec. 13 memo that the original developer’s delay in doing the road and utility work, identified originally in 2010, “have obviously resulted in additional damage” to the roads and earth surrounding the utilities.
As a consequence, Simonson wrote, the warranty work will involve more “subgrade stabilization” than anticipated in 2010, adding to the cost of the work.
For example, he estimated that the Faas Ranch Road work could now cost up to $238,000, compared to the 2010 estimate of $53,000.
The estimated costs for the other roads and utility installations also may be as much as twice as much as earlier estimates, according to Simonson’s letter.
Also on tonight’s agenda will be a proposal from the Town Council to the planning and zoning commission, that the New Castle comprehensive land use plan be amended concerning the dedication of park lands by developers and the subsequent development of those park lands.
Baker said the Town Council has agreed with the P&Z that an amendment is needed to require developers not only to dedicate some portion of a proposed development to the town for future park space, but also to require the developer to be responsible for making the actual improvements to the park land as specified by the town. The new requirement is necessary, according to the town, because the town is not always able to do the improvements on its own for financial reasons.
The P&Z has written a proposed amendment that lays out the requirements, allowing the improvements to be completed in phases but making it a requirement that the park improvements be completed prior to the issuance of certain documents allowing the development to move forward.
Because the P&Z is the final decision-making body where the comprehensive plan is concerned, the council, at tonight’s meeting, is expected to either endorse the language as proposed or suggest changes.
Once an amendment is approved by the P&Z and accepted by the council, it will be up to the council itself to come up with modifications to the municipal codes enacting the provisions of the comprehensive plan.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. The council will meet for one hour prior to the regular meeting, behind closed doors, to discuss personnel matters.