City sets NID assessment

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Cassville City Council voted Monday night to approve an ordinance that sets the property assessments associated with water and sewer improvements at the Sherwood Forest subdivision.

The ordinance sets the assessment at $73.16 per linear foot of frontage. Based on this assessment, property owners' cost for the water and sewer improvements ranges from a low of $1,463.20 to a high of $15,800.

Property owners, which currently number 36, have the option of paying the total cost of the improvements in the next 90 days or choosing to have the assessments levied on their property taxes annually for the next 20 years.

State law allows for early pay-off only during the initial 90-day window. After that time, early pay-off is no longer an option even if the property sells to new owners.

Carson Elliff, the city's bond counsel, was in attendance at Monday night's council meeting to review the ordinance and answer any questions aldermen might have.

"This is the final step you need to take on this project," said Elliff. "With the approval of this ordinance, you assess the properties located within the (Sherwood Forest) Neighborhood Improvement District."

The NID assessment is collected to pay the principal and interest on $318,000 of bonds the city issued to finance the project. Money for the improvements was provided through a low interest State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan, which carries a low 1.5 percent interest rate.

The city also invested $128,032.56 of its own revenue to help offset costs of the $501,734.09 project, which connects Sherwood Forest property owners to city sewer and water.

The city has been working on the Sherwood Forest project since 2004.

The ordinance approved by council on Monday also includes a list of property owners and their parcel's linear feet as well as forms for special tax assessment, receipt of special tax assessment and certificate of indebtedness and notice of assessment to property owner.

Elliff also informed the council that the ordinance also established a 90-day period for any property owner to contest the assessment. The deadline to pay the full assessment or to contest the assessment is the same - Sept. 17, 2007. The first installment of the 20-year assessment will be due Dec. 31, 2007.

Mayor Tracy Holle pointed out that the linear-foot assessment came in lower than originally estimated. Subdivision residents had originally been given an assessment figure of $80.81 per linear foot.

"I hope Sherwood Forest appreciates that fact," said Holle.

In other business, the council:

• Paid bills totalling $98,230.21.

• Received an update from Don Arazmus on a project he proposed that would involve the lighting of a 29-foot Christmas tree to enhance Cassville's Christmas lighting efforts.

• Heard a report presented by Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer, about the Government Finance Officers Association's annual conference held in Anaheim, Calif. June 10-13. Cooper, City Administrator Mike Hayslip and City Clerk Kelly Paul attended the conference. Cooper reported that the conference was "extremely beneficial" and provided valuable information on proposed changes in accounting and auditing standards that could have a huge effect on the city.

• Received a city sales tax report. For the month, city sales tax receipts totalled $236,416.12, which is a 6.4 percent increase over June of 2006. Year to date, the city's sales tax revenue has reflected a 21.2 percent increase.

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