City of Lisbon trying to claw way out of $3 million holeLisbon, ND (WDAY TV) - While many North Dakota cities are worried about flooding this upcoming spring, one northeastern city is still dealing with the ramifications of floods from the last three years. Lisbon is $3 million in debt.
While many North Dakota cities are worried about flooding this upcoming spring, one southeastern city is still dealing with the ramifications of floods from the last three years. Lisbon is $3 million in debt.
Calm waters flow beneath a sheet of ice on the Sheyenne River, and officials hope it stays calm into spring.
Ross Cole – Lisbon Mayor: "We've had three years in a row that have been very devastating to us and really I don't know what would happen if we had a fourth."
Flooding in Lisbon has put the city back by three million dollars.
Mayor Cole: "Some houses that we bought out ourselves to get the footprint ready for a permanent levy... sandbags, clay those things street repairs."
The city plans to pay the debt with tax assessments or service fee increases or a combination of both.
Tim Meyer – Council President: "You may be looking in the $50, $75 a year range on top of what the property taxes are already are."
The city can't know for sure what the tax increases will be until they hear from the state and FEMA on reimbursements for flood-related expenses. They're hoping to get $770,000.
Tim Meyer: "It's a very slow process and yes it can be very frustrating."
So far, the city has been able to pay its bills and provide services. But Tim Meyer says the city can't always depend on tax increases to pay off balances.
Tim Meyer: "We don't want to get to a point where our assessments are so much higher than the cities around us that people will not move here that's a concern."
The city is working with the state to get aid for flood protection. They say a permanent levy would be a better alternative to the annual expenses it’s seen these past three years.