Special assessments pass city council
After many weeks of studying subjects, the regular Washington City Council meeting Wednesday acted as the clearinghouse in which little discussion was given, but many items were finalized.
The special assessment policy, which drew many questions when it was first introduced, was approved by the council 6-0. Council member Bob Shellmyer was absent for the meeting.
During an earlier work session Council determined to set the maximum amount that can be assessed during a special assessment at 40 percent of the maximum assessable rate. With 40 percent being the maximum amount that can be assessed, the council can choose to set a special assessment with a lower percentage.
At earlier meetings, City administrator Brent Hinson explained a special assessment is a process the city uses when a special project is being done. The city assesses the taxpayers who receive more benefit from a project for a higher share of the tax burden. He said when special assessments are used, the taxpayers in the area being assessed will only pay for a portion of the project, rather than the entire project.
In other business, the council:
• approved requests for Celebrate Washington, Relay for Life, and St. James Knight Flight;
• approved support for a new historic preservation commission grant application;
• approved the third reading of an ordinance amending the site plan code and set site plan fees at $300 for a major project and $150 for a minor project;
• approved a resolution adopting the water facility plan. The plan was presented at the last regular council meeting. A master agreement with Fox Engineering for the plan was also approved and engineering for the ground storage reservoir was ordered;
• approved the first reading of an ordinance amending mobile home park sewer charges;
• a zoning ordinance amendment changing the boundaries of the districts was approved;
• the first reading of an ordinance approving a stop sign on Campbell Drive was approved;
• the first reading of an ordinance putting a no-parking sign on the south side of East Van Buren Street between South 12th and South 14th was approved. Council member Merle Hagie opposed the passage;
• approved an engineering service agreement with V&K Inc. for the seal coat project;
• set a public hearing on the downtown urban renewal plan and unified commercial urban renewal plan for June 5; and
• set a public hearing to amend the budget for June 5.