January 16, 2015

Special Assessment Assistance Program helps families

By Cheryl McCormack

About a handful of Washburn families recently qualified and received special assessment assistance for sewer and water, with the most recent approval taking place on Monday night during the Washburn City Commission meeting.

The board approved a request from a family of two living on Fourth Avenue, with a household income of about $42,200.

Auditor Joan Zimmerman said the application was received after the cutoff date; according to the property owner, she was unaware that assistance was available until it was already too late to apply.

The board approved paying 50 percent of the family's annual assessment for water and sewer only, which totals $581. Commissioner Keith Jacobson voted "nay."

Following the vote, Jacobson questioned if he was on the board when Mayor Duane Bauer and Zimmerman were granted permission to approve special assessment assistance requests during private meetings outside of commission sessions.

"This might be my confusion, but I don't remember that. I don't know if this was an actual agenda item. I was under the impression that assistance requests would come back to us (commissioners) and we'd vote on them," Jacobson said.

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