Kelly says portion of Marshall Street can be done in 2014.

    If there were two street improvement projects that spurred city officials a few years ago to seriously consider modifying the way the city and Crookston residents shared the costs of street work, they were the reconstructions of Locken Boulevard and Marshall Street, proposed in 2007.

    In order to finance the projects, some residents living on those streets were assessed more than $100 per-front-foot of their property, a financial burden that spurred enthusiastic complaints. On the Marshall Street project, located in Crookston’s south end, the complaints were so intense that the City Council eventually removed a one-block portion of the project between Euclid Ave. and 7th Ave. South, which remains a gravel road to this day.

    Eventually, the council approved a dramatically different cost-share plan, which now has residents impacted by a street reconstruction project being assessed a flat rate of $25 per front foot. If the project is a bituminous overlay, the flat rate is $12.50 per front foot.

    In the years since that stretch of Marshall Street was removed from the reconstruction project, some new residents have moved in, and two of them have led a petition drive to have the one-block stretch reconstructed.

    The petition was on the agenda at this week’s city Public Works Committee meeting and, after some discussion, the committee agreed to put the project on the city’s street improvement radar screen. Specifically, Public Works Director Pat Kelly said it might make the most sense to consider doing the project in 2014, when Euclid Ave. is set to be reconstructed after a new water main is installed on the street in 2013.

    Kelly always has a three-year proposed street improvement plan that guides decision-making, but it’s a plan that evolves each year. He said the one-block of Marshall Street “hasn’t been in my queue” since it was removed from consideration five years ago.

    “But now that we have the lower assessment rate, they want it reconstructed,” he said in making the case to not add the Marshall project to the 2013 improvement list. “We have other streets in tough shape and we only have so many dollars. We can’t be everywhere at once.”