April 2, 2014

Special assessment meeting draws concerned citizens


Luke Retterath, chairman of the assessment committee, opened Tuesday’s special assessment meeting at the Washburn Memorial Hall, saying, "This is is one of those meetings we all dread attending."

Referring to the special assessment meeting in 2009, that lasted until 1 a.m., he said, "We have set a prompt dismissal time for this meeting to end no later than 9:30 p.m."

About 30 taxpayers were in attendance, ready to bring up their concerns and hoping to discuss an adjustment to their property.

Retterath explained how his special assessment team, which also includes members Sue Winter and Mark Lelm, came up with the figures for the street, water, and sewer improvement projects. Following a square footage formula, all properties within the Washburn city limits were given an assessed value.

The committee said they thought using a square footage formula is more equitable, compared to using a linear square footage formula. With the linear method, it is difficult to assess due to the large amount of unplatted property and corner lots within the city limits.

The city never had a formula established to divvy assessments. Retterath explained, "We wanted to standardize a formula that we could use in the future, from project to project. From now on, when the city receives a request for an estimate, we can easily apply the formula."

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