Few questions asked at assessment hearing

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

There were only a few questions asked at the assessment hearing for the First Avenue NW reconstruction project. The hearing was held Monday during the New Prague City Council meeting.

Six people attended the hearing and their questions were more about work that had been done rather than the assessments on their property. The city project included street and sanitary sewer improvements on First Avenue NW, from The work began at the intersection of Seventh Street NW and went north on First Avenue, and occurred in 2005 and 2006.

New Prague City Administrator Jerry Bohnsack explained the project, costing approximately $390,612, was one of the hardest ones the city has had to do concerning assessments, due to a variety of factors. He said that some had to do with the different properties, the sizes of them, the layout of the area and the different uses of the property, ranging from industrial to residential.

Bohnsack said a variety of aspects were looked at for the assessments, from lineal feet, to square footage. The city came up with a hybrid of active/inactive property where a portion of the assessment on certain properties would be inactive, or deferred, until one of two circumstances happens. The property is subdivided or after 30 years has passed.

There are four properties where the payment is being deferred. The assessments on those properties are from approximately $21,000 to nearly $50,000. The inactive portions of those properties range from about $9,000 to $37,000.

There were other options open to residents. One is that any property owner who is 65 or older can defer their payment, until they decide to sell the land. Another is the resident can work out a payment plan with the city, otherwise the assessment would be added to the tax statement for their property.

There were comments from two residents at the hearing. One was about where the street ended and whether it was to become a cul-de-sac.

Bohnsack said the city did look at the cul-de-sac option, but couldn't get the needed right of way.

The other comments dealt with the work that had been done. One resident said the concrete apron at his property had settled quite a bit. Another said that two evergreen trees had been transplanted to expand the street and one had died.

Bohnsack said city staff would look into both situations.

There were no appeals on the assessments and the city council unanimously approved them at its meeting later that evening.

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