While I was not able to attend the recent meeting, my neighbors have advised me of "the plan" and I have reviewed the material presented on this site. The one question that you must be expecting from the residents of Prospect Knolls A is a simple one - "How does the city consider this to be a fair assessment??" First, on a "like for like" comparison, the two projects scheduled for next year (Melody Lake and Prospect Knolls) are somewhat similar - same timing and same project size from roadway and amount of paving. Though the Melody Lake project appears to include water line services and a significant amount of sidewalks, which are NOT part of the Prospect Knolls effort. Yet the cost to a Prospect Knolls resident is likely 60% higher than the Melody Lake project. Second, when compared to prior year projects, I have been advised that the per household assessment expected to be levied to Prospect Knolls residents is even more of a premium than what other residents paid for street improvements. This is basic street repair. There is no differentiated benefit to Prospect Knolls A residents that warrants such an egregious premium. In fact, it appears to be primarily driven by the city's selective decision in what area to be carved out and how to pay for the work being performed. One could argue that even the selected methodology for assessment is likely not a fair approach for residents within each bounded project area! City streets are a basic requirement of good city governance. It is difficult to understand why ongoing upkeep has not been part of forward capital planning and thus built into current and future tax proceeds. The streets in my area of the city have no greater benefit or utility than those in Melody Lake or any other project that has been completed over the past several years - at a significantly lower cost to our residents. I would expect considerable concern and displeasure will be voiced regarding this proposal. But then again, we only represent 88.17 REUs, so just how much noise can we make anyway.
Thank you for the
question. The City Council has also struggled with the cost of street
reconstruction and special assessments. There have been discussions about a
possible change to the methodology. Any change to street reconstruction funding
would require council action.
Special assessments are valid if
three things occur:
- The property receives a special benefit from the
- The assessment does not exceed the special benefit
measured by the increase in market value due to the improvement.
- The assessment is uniform as applied to the same class
of property (i.e. single-family home, commercial), in the assessed area.
The City will hire a qualified and licensed appraiser to
review the neighborhoods and determine an average price benefit per
neighborhood. This benefit will be presented to the City Council at the December 9, 2019
Public Hearing. At that meeting you will have 3 minutes to present your
views about the project. In the meantime, council members are always interested
in hearing from residents about topics that affect them.
The scope of utility improvements (like watermain
replacement) or sidewalk installations do not factor into the estimated special
assessments calculation. These project components are funded by the City’s
Utility Fund and Pedestrian and Cyclists Safety Fund, respectively.
While the proposed Melody Lake/Grandview and Prospect Knolls
projects are similar in size, they differ greatly in property density; this is a key component in calculating a project’s special
assessment rate. The special assessment is calculated simply by dividing
the total roadway cost by the number of Residential Equivalent Units (REUs)
within the project area in accordance with the City’s Special Assessment
I attended the meeting last Monday evening for the Melody Lake Grandview street reconstruction project scheduled for 2020. I would like to get my sewer and water service lines inspected . Can you provide me with the list of City approved plumbing contractors who do that work?
A list of sewer, water and sump contractors
that have previously worked in the City is referenced in the link below. They can
assess whether your service pipes need any repairs or improvements. We recommend
contacting more than one contractor to ensure you are receiving competitive