The Ashland City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a $344,164 contract with Central Point-based Pilot Rock Excavation Inc. for paving, sidewalk and storm drain work in the Schofield and Monte Vista streets neighborhood.

The Ashland City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a $344,164 contract with Central Point-based Pilot Rock Excavation Inc. for paving, sidewalk and storm drain work in the Schofield and Monte Vista streets neighborhood.

Neighbors who own 19 lots there will contribute up to $5,138 per lot toward the improvements. Their total contribution will be $97,622, with the city government paying the rest of the bill.

The project has been long-awaited by many of the neighbors who petitioned for the improvements. The City Council approved the project in 2007.

It was held up by objections from Art Bullock, who was a vocal critic of city operations several years ago.

The city also rebid the project this spring after a first effort yielded only one bid that was more than $100,000 over estimated costs.

Some of the neighbors came to the Tuesday meeting to show support for the project and to thank city officials for their help.

The project will be carried out via the formation of a local improvement district. Usually at least a few neighbors in an LID are opposed to its formation because of the cost of improvements, but no neighbors spoke out against the Schofield and Monte Vista LID at the meeting.

The city government and residents share in costs for LIDs, with the city usually bearing the brunt of costs. A 2009 resolution sets maximum caps on costs to be borne by neighbors. Without the cap, Schofield and Monte Vista LID neighbors would pay $12,611 per lot, according to city documents.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.