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Total protests number just under 14 percent

By Staff | Mar 13, 2009

Rugby city officials spent last week reviewing and totaling the written protest forms submitted by property owners to prevent the establishment of a special assessment district for the planned citywide District 1-2009 street improvement project.

At a special council meeting on March 12, city officials learned the percentage of protests based on total square footage of property within the city equaled 13.78 percent, according to Karla Harmel, city auditor-administrator. At least 50 percent is needed to legally protest out the project.

That number, however, is higher than the 9.88 percent of total protests the city council received during the first hearing held last October. A second hearing was required due to a publishing error for the project’s legal notice.

Even when government property is excluded, the percentage of protests totals only 23.91 percent, Harmel said.

Total tax exemption of property in the city is 27.67 percent, and the city of Rugby accounts for 4.23 percent, third highest among government-owned entities. The largest landholder is the park district with 8.55 percent of total property. The Economic Development Corporation is second with 6.77 percent.

The Rugby City Council will conduct the protest hearing this Monday evening, March 16, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Otter Tail Power Co. community meeting room and will make a decision on whether to pass a resolution to establish a special assessment district for the planned citywide street improvement project.

The city will also have Mike Manstrom, project finance consultant, to discuss funding options for the proposed project. There will also be an opportunity for public comment on the project.

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