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The Mandan City Commission on Tuesday found there was not enough opposition from residents to stop Street Improvement District 161 in northwest Mandan.

Commissioners awarded the project to Northern Improvement for

$8.98 million.

Dave Bechtel of the city engineering department said 1,096 letters were sent to people in the district, but only 278 valid letters of protest were sent back to the city — 28.4 percent opposed. He said separate districts did not have enough opponents, either.

A smaller version of the road district — Diane’s Addition — drew protests two years ago. Residents opposed paying $8,000 to $10,000 for each property owner in its boundaries.

Nearly 40 people crowded into a public meeting Tuesday night  to object to special assessments of up to $30,000. Some said they got notices for two special assessment roads.

Mayor Tim Helbling said despite making the boundaries bigger for the new road improvement district, building costs are still steep and will likely go higher if the city waits to redo the map of the project.

Sheila Froelich said that under the new road upgrade plan, she would be charged $20,000 in special assessments. She asked for “a citywide assessment and continuous maintenance of roads.”

Claudia Dietrich said the boundaries were very confusing and felt the window of protest was too short.

Betty Thorson, who lives near Liberty Heights, said she was notified her special assessments would be $32,000.

Alice Ehreth said she opposed “being taxed at both ends” after being notified she would pay special assessments for two roads she lives near.

Commissioner Dennis Rohr said delaying project again would raise the costs more.

In other business, the commission:

 — Approved first reading of rezoning Heart Ridge Addition — Lots 27-32 Block 1 and Lots 1-3 Block 4 — from multi-family to multi-family restricted.

— Denied rezoning Lots 1-3, Block 1 from single family residential to multi-family residential where developer Steve Kilen wanted to put a four-plex apartment.

— Put the former water reservoir property owned by the city on Eighth Avenue West for sale on multi-listings after no bids were received. The city requires a buyer tear down the reservoir.

— Awarded a new Class D license to Ozark Spirits for $80,000 and new Class D-1 licenses to Missouri Valley Petroleum for $36,001 and and Petro USA for $40,711 as the high bidders.

-- City commissioners also allowed Bechtel to advertise for offers for a consultant to draft a city comprehensive plan.

-- At commissioner Dot Frank's request, the commission approved creating a youth commission to engage young people in the community and create positive opportunities for them.

Reach reporter LeAnn Eckroth at 250-8264 or