No Special Assessments for 10th Avenue North Sewer Repair
Monday night, before the Fort Dodge City Council meeting, the council held a workshop to discuss specific projects, including work on the 10th Avenue North Storm Sewer. The council debated with each other, over whether or not special assessments should be given to the citizens impacted.
Councilman Dave Flattery pointed out that when sewer repair work was done in the Rolling Hills Neighborhood, assessments were given. He said that the city needs to be consistent in how they give assessments. Flattery said, "This is not good economic policy. This is basically a tax increase. To be fair to the people of Rolling Hills, should we refund them?" Flattery added that with an annual 8.5 million dollar infrastructure budget shortfall, funding has to come from somewhere else than property taxes.
Both Councilman Barney Patterson, and Councilman Andy Fritz agreed that a clear policy should be set regarding assessments, before any more decisions were made regarding infrastructure projects. Fritz said, "Until we can figure out how we're going to pay for this stuff, it's almost pointless to me to even be talking about these things, because you're talking 20-30 years down the road for some of them." Fritz also agreed with Flattery that the city had to be consistent in it's policies.
Rich Seltz came from the audience to speak at the meeting. Seltz stated that the area was a bad place to develop and Fort Dodge shouldn't have to pay for the original developer's mistake. Seltz said that with both the 10th Avenue North and the Rolling Hills developments, the developers both got their money and left. Seltz said, "It was left on the burden of the homeowners to fix the problem. In fairness to me as a private citizen, my taxes shouldn't go up, because somebody didn't know what they were doing."
By majority, the council directed the engineering department to do the project in Fiscal Year 2013, and declared that no special assessments would be given.