Boyden Residents Could Pay Thousands If Portion Of Main Street Reconstructed

Homeowner Received Assessment For $12K, Business Could Pay Around $40K

Some property owners in northwest Iowa are seeing sticker shock after receiving a big bill in the mail. Around a dozen residents and business owners in the town of Boyden will be asked to pay thousands of dollars if a new road project is approved in the town of 700.

Billy Miller and her husband Josh chose to live in Boyden for the land…

Miller said, “This area we like right here because we had so much yard, our kids could play.”

… and the peace and quiet. But she says that’s becoming a thing of the past following the expansion of FCS, a feed mill in town.

“Numerous trucks are going to be going by, we’ve heard 200, we’ve heard 250 a day,” said Miller.

And all that land? That could cost her money too. Property owners who live along Main Street from Highway 18 to Railroad Street got a letter from the city. It gave them an assessment of how much they would have to pay to help fund the road. Miller believes the city is reconstructing it just to accommodate the trucks from the mill. Her bill was $18,000.

Miller said, “We received a deficiency so we owe $12,352.”

City leaders say the bills are based on frontage and the area in which their property lays adjacent to the project or road. They say it’s a coincidence that the project aligns with the FCS expansion.

Boyden Mayor Laryl Koerselman said, “This portion of the street is not in the best shape for the town so we’ve had a number of streets that we’ve looked at over the years and Main Street is one of them, so it does get a lot of truck traffic today and the infrastructure is pretty poor.”

City leaders say two other roads were reconstructed in 2004 and 2010, and the city went through the same process then. They say it’s necessary to keep the town moving in the right direction.

“Some of the residents will have some pain, some of the business owners will experience some pain in this growth as well but overall it’s good for the town,” said City Council Member Bob Koerselman.

While her taxes will likely increase, Miller feels bad mostly for her neighbors. Farmers Feed and Supply got the biggest bill, around $40,000.

“They’re paying for their competition, and they’re paying a big sum of money,” said Miller.

While it’s just a preliminary number, City Council members say the road project is estimated to cost around $820,000. The group of five members as well as the Mayor will be voting Thursday night to decide whether to go forward with the project. A majority vote would win.