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City approves assessments

By Katherine Grandstrand

After much debate, the Dickinson City Commission decided the fairest way to special assess two older properties in a new development area is to charge the owners for the services benefited and remove the cost of services not used from the assessment.

0 Talk about it

During a special meeting at City Hall on Monday, the commission continued the discussion from the Oct. 21 meeting surrounding the tabled special assessment of Porters Second Subdivision in north Dickinson. The commission approved the assessments.

The developer covered the cost of paving Sims Street and 29th Street, as well as creating sewer and water hookups throughout the assessed area, City Attorney Matt Kolling said. The project was completed in two phases, allowing the developer to recoup $1.2 million from its neighbors — $600,000 for each phase.

“If you have a street that is adjacent to your property, you are benefited by that improvement, despite the fact that there may not be a driveway access onto that property” Kolling said of city policy. “The property is benefited by having water and sewer access there — by having the ability, at some point in the future if the use of property should change, to have the ability to access that.”

Two properties — one owned by Kevin Brown and the other owned by Dan Clark — were there before the improvements took place in 2011 and received their water, sewer and street access from 26th Street.

“Everything else in the whole development is new,” Brown said. “We’ve had our services for a long time.”

The two landowners asked that their properties be excluded from the special assessment.

“Both Mr. Brown and myself were kind of drug into this,” Clark said. “He’s certainly getting no benefit from it that I can see — at least at this juncture — and I’m getting some benefit, but it would be fairly minimal because I could have developed — I had water, sewer, everything off of 26th Street — and certainly could have developed my land accordingly.”

But because the two properties are not utilizing the sewer put in by the developer, Commissioner Gene Jackson suggested that the cost of the sewer be removed from the properties.

“I don’t have a problem with the streets, at all, on those two lots and I really can get myself comfortable with the water, but I am struggling with the sewer,” Jackson said.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the special assessments of the properties in Porters Second Subdivision, removing the cost of the sewer from the Brown and Clark properties.

The commission also unanimously passed a rezone in the Prairie Hills Fourth Addition.