INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 18, 2011, 10:08 PM

Barnesville residents voice concerns over Front Street Special Assessment

Barnesville, MN (WDAY TV) - The Front Street project in Barnesville has the town divided. The project is complete and traffic has opened back up, but people are upset that some will have to pay more for the project than others, a lot more. Tonight they voiced their opinions.

The Front Street project in Barnesville has the town divided. The project is complete and traffic has opened back up, but people are upset that some will have to pay more for the project than others, a lot more. Tonight they voiced their opinions.

The project is being divided up between the county, the city, and two special assessment districts: downtown and 389 property owners. Those property owners will each pay a special fee $989.72. This evening they voiced their concerns at a special city meeting.

David Renecker – Lives in Special Assessment District: “Well it's stupid. Everybody from the city is benefiting from it. Why just select a few to pay for it.”

Dozens of people attended tonight’s final assessment meeting. Only days ago, people in the special assessment district found out how much of the bill they would foot. Although hundreds less than previously thought, property owners are not happy.

David Renecker: “Because I think the assessment should be spread citywide. The benefits of the improvements downtown benefit everybody, not just a select few.”

The city says it’s assessing those residents more because they use Front Street more than most. And there will be more special assessments in the future for other property owners.

Mayor Fred Dahnke – Barnesville, MN: “We're using an assessment policy that has never been used before. Is it fair? I believe it is.”

The rest of the city will still be paying for 29% of the $3.8 million bill. Property taxes on a $100,000 home will go up $87 a year for the next 20 years.

Mayor Fred Dahnke: “Hindsight is 20-20. You're never going to please everybody, so you're going to have your naysayers no matter what we do.”

Those you don't want to pay the $989 up front also have the option to pay $69 dollars a year for the next 20 years. Taxes and fees will start being assessed in 2012.

Tags: