Bonds to fund Centennial in Indian Hills

       City Engineering has decided to use bonds posted six years ago to finish the roughly quarter-mile portion of four-lane Centennial Boulevard that runs behind the bankrupted Indian Hills Village townhome development.
       Plans call for the work to commence “when paving season starts,” around April or May, according to Steve Kuehster of City Engineering. Instructions to proceed were given this month to the attorney for the bond company (Developers Surety), Kuehster said.
       Although the full 1 ½-mile extension of Centennial between Fillmore and Fontanero streets is far from complete, the Indian Hills work will connect two existing residential streets - Van Buren Street and Mesa Valley Road - that currently dead-end on the north and south sides of the 29-acre, Mesa Springs-area development.
       A real-estate agent in that area, Steve Stewart, has previously said that such a connection would make home sales more attractive in Indian Hills. The developer, Continental Divisions, had built about 20 of its approved 80 units before going bankrupt in 2007, and the city has been looking for a builder to carry on the project ever since.
       Completion of the Indian Hills portion of Centennial may also affect a 47-acre residential development being planned by the MVS group just south of there. MVS would have to build its own segment of Centennial. But that would still not complete the Fillmore-Fontanero extension; in the meantime, preliminary plans call for MVS traffic to use Van Buren as its main access - a prospect that is causing consternation for the Mesa Springs Community Association (see story, this page).
       Bond money amounting to several hundred thousand dollars had been posted in 2004 by Continental Divisions as insurance against its completion of all public amenities for Indian Hills. The exact bond amount has not been made available, but city officials have assured the Westside Pioneer in past interviews that there is enough to get the Centennial work done.
       Continental had built part of the required Centennial segment in 2005 - it's graded, with curbs, light standards and a median, but the traffic lanes are just dirt.
       According to Kuehster, some erosion has occurred over the years, meaning that a certain amount of “fine grading” will be needed, possibly accompanied by soil compaction, before the paving can occur. A contractor will most likely be hired by the bond company to do the work, but the city will still be authorized to review and approve the final plans, Kuehster said.
       Although city officials could have called in the bonds as early as 2007, when Continental hit its financial wall, they delayed doing so because for a time it appeared the developer might be able to regroup. However, this did not occur. Since then, the city has sought other builders to take on the subdivision, in the belief that would ease completion of public as well as private amenities.

Westside Pioneer article