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Council confirms assessments

By Staff | Oct 22, 2009

At a Oct. 19 special meeting, the Rugby City Council passed a resolution confirming the special assessment listing for the city-wide street improvement project, but not before it making some significant adjustments.

Among the changes to properties, the council approved a 15 percent reduction to the Country Road reconstruction assessments and to other properties in town which required full-depth repairs to portions of streets. That amounted to approximately a $140,000 decrease in about 46 individual assessments.

The council decided to appropriate $140,000 of its $500,000 set aside infrastructure funds to cover the reductions in assessments to those 46 properties. The remaining $360,000 would be spread equally to all assessments.

City officials also voted to include the County Shop property and land owned by the Good Samaritan Hospital among the Country Road reconstruction assessment group, despite the fact both of those parcels physical address is along 10th St. S.E. That change helped to spread out the reconstruction costs among the properties on the street.

Rugby Mayor Dale Niewoehner had to break a 4-4 council tie vote on whether to exclude undeveloped, contiguous agriculture acreage that exceeds 7.5 acres from the main thoroughfare assessment.

The council also agreed to set aside other infrastructure funds to pay for approximately 15 handicap ramps which were installed and a $2,000 reduction in assessments will be credited to the properties the ramps were installed on.

The council received a number of written letters from properties with requested changes to their assessments. A number of residents also attended the hearing on Oct. 19.

Property owner have until this Friday, Oct. 30 to pay off their assessments in full and receive a five percent discount. As of late last week, about 30 property owners have paid off their assessments, according to city auditor’s office.

The city bonded $4,755,000 for the street improvements. The actual expense to date is $4,558,973.03 with another $213,276.24 to be paid. That includes the first interest payment of $76,776.24 and $105,000 in drainage issues to be corrected next year.

The city has designated future infrastructure maintenance funds to help pay off the project which is structured on a 15-year bond period. Those funds are part of the city’s two percent sales tax collection.

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