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Brownton Council adopts new assessment policy

In a packed council chambers, the Brownton City Council revised its assessment policy to make assessments more amenable to residents as the city takes on an $8.37 million street and utility project.
John Rodeberg, an engineer with Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) said that when SEH applied the city’s current assessment policy — which pretty much splits costs 50/50 with adjoining properties — some assessments “were extremely high.”
The assessments, under the current policy, also would have paid for about 47 percent of the city’s portion of the project’s costs. Under the proposed policy, that share would be about 26.4 percent, closer to the state’s minimum level of 20 percent of project costs.
Under the proposed policy, property owners would pay 25 percent of sanitary mains, 100 percent of sanitary service between the main and the building, 25 percent of the water main, 100 percent of the water service between the main and the house, 0 percent of storm sewer, 25 percent of sump pump catch basins, and 25 percent of street reconstruction.
Rodeberg said residents should pay 100 percent of water and sanitary service lines “because they really only benefit the property owner, not any one else.”
He also recommended not assessing for storm sewer because it is so difficult to determine the benefit.

For more from the meeting, see the July 12 print edition of The Chronicle.