October 10, 2016

Commission rules on protests

BY ALYSSA MEIER
Editor
Resident requests for adjustments to their special assessments were mostly turned down by the Washburn City Commission last week, with only one property owner getting a break.
At its Sept. 27 meeting, the commission examined why resident Brent Barnick’s property, which is a primary commercial lot for the 2016 street project, was being assessed over $36,000.
Sue Winter of the Special Assessment Committee explained at a previous meeting that commercial properties were given a higher cap than others because they typically have more traffic and benefit from the streets more.
“I don’t see it as commercial,” Commissioner Kit Baumann said of the lot, which is used to store equipment for Barnick’s lawn care business. “There’s not any more traffic.”
Barnick’s property, which is the only lot that was designated as primary commercial, didn’t have a cap at all. Barnick was mistakenly capped as a residential property at $10,645.38 before the error was discovered and his pavement assessment jumped to $36,488.95.
“My biggest concern is the fact that there was no cap,” Commission president Larry Thomas said.


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