April 9, 2009

Council reviews taxes, grants, building plans

The Center City Council had a busy evening April 6 starting with a tax equalization public hearing at 6 p.m. That hearing was followed by another public hearing to discuss the grant awarded to the city by the Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council on behalf of the Oliver County Golden Age Club. The council then geared up for a full monthly meeting agenda.

The tax equalization meeting is held once a year in April for the purpose of giving city property owners an opportunity to ask questions or issue complaints.

Steve Olson, tax assessor with Olson and Olson Consultation of Mayville, was present at the meeting. Olson is the city’s tax assessor.

"We have to keep track of what’s going on in the city," he said concerning keeping up with assessing property.

He explained that for every $1,000 worth of a property value, $15.31 was assessed in property tax this year. He said that he checked into renovations of two properties, which would increase the owners’ assessments. It was brought up that if a home is 25 years old or older the owner could apply for an exemption. No property owners appeared before the council.

Mayor Richard Zarr then opened the public hearing for the awarding of grant money to the city for the Golden Age Club. Lee Husfloen, a member of the Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council, explained that part of the requirement for the grant is to allow public input at a hearing.

The grant totaling more than $33,000 is to be used by the city, which sponsors the grant, for a variety of renovations at the Golden Age Club building. No comments were forthcoming from the public.

Zarr then convened the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the council.

Mark Thompson, representing the Oliver County Ambulance Board, appeared to inquire about the lot at the corner of Market Street and Lincoln Avenue for the purpose of constructing a building to house the ambulances. City attorney John Mahoney proposed the city and the board enter into a "joint powers agreement," which would allow the city to donate the lot to the ambulance board. Although Mel Heilman, a Center resident, offered to buy the lot, the council was inclined to make the donation.

"The ambulance squad needs a new building," Zarr said.

"This is great if that’s what you want to do," Thompson said.

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