Homeowners question special assessments in south FargoFargo, ND (WDAY TV) – It was a packed house tonight in the Fargo city commission chambers. People crowded together to get answers about special assessments for improvements to 25th street, sewage pipes and drain 53. Many say they can't afford upwards of 60 thousand dollars, and it's unfair to put the bill on their laps.
City engineering staff put on this Q and A session. They want people to get the right information and to get the message across that this assessment is following Fargo city policy.
“It may not be the information that they want to hear. We are treating them like we are treating the rest of the city as we brought streets along their property.”
Fargo city engineers say the improvements to 25th Street aren't just because of Davies High School. The city is on the move to the south and they say sooner or later these things need to be done. But citizens footing the bill don't see it that way. Many want the money spread out more evenly.
“When we build a school way out in the rural area and then expect that just small area to pay for it. I don't think we were really using common sense.”
Heather Soleim is helping hand out petitions. She's hoping 50 percent of the landowners sign and defeat the assessments, but says it won't be easy. That's because people who have large lots can defer payment for 10 years, but if they sign the petition, they'd lose that option.
“They have to have their deferral or they would lose their land probably.”
While homeowners are glad to have this opportunity to understand the project better, many say they're still against it and feel powerless to stop it.
“They're coming in to our area; we didn't ask them to come in. Now the school is coming out there, so some of this stuff is coming upon us and we don't have a say in it.”
Signed petitions will be turned in tomorrow morning at City Hall. Sewage work on 25th Street will start next week. That part of the project can't be protested.