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Crosslake City Council agrees on split vote to assess properties for 2022 road project

Assessment amounts continue to plague council

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CROSSLAKE — Properties abutting and benefitting from this summer’s road improvement project in Crosslake will be assessed $4,000 each.

The Crosslake City Council voted 3-1-1 during a special meeting Wednesday, Sept. 28, to charge the assessments for the Wild Wind Ranch Drive ($48,000), Rushmoor Boulevard and Rushmoor Trail ($156,000), and Birch Narrows Road ($182,000) projects.

Council member Dave Schrupp abstained from voting because he lives on one of the roads. Mayor Dave Nevin voted against assessing property owners because of the $4,000 amount.

At an assessment hearing Sept. 14, the council vote on assessments was 2-2 with Schrupp absent. That day, council member John Andrews voted with Nevin not to assess the property owners.

As adopted, property owners can pay the assessments over 15 years at 5% interest.

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Property owners can appeal an assessment to district court.

In June, after having decided against assessing properties for the sewer expansion project, the council agreed to continue its policy to assess road projects at $4,000 per property, with Schrupp abstaining from the vote.

Assessment policy continues to be a struggle for city

At the start of the Sept. 28 meeting, City Administrator Mike Lyonais said the council vote last spring to do the road projects and assess property owners was 5-0.

The council’s options now, Lyonais said, were to approve assessments or not approve them and have the city pay the entire cost. It’s too late to consider a tax abatement bond or to hold a referendum for voters to decide.

Read more of Crosslake City Council news
Council approved a new St. Patrick's Day parade route; will seek proposals for a city attorney, labor attorney and city buildings cleaning service.
Department sees large increase in fire calls, emergency medical service calls
One council member votes against budget approval, saying it could be further reduced to help taxpayers
Dave Schrupp and John Andrews did not seek reelection and attend their final regular council meeting

The council must assess a minimum of 20% of the project or it’s not in compliance with state statute.

“At this point, your two choices are either follow what your intent was back in March and April, or not assess it and write a check for the whole project and spend your reserves down,” Lyonais said. “You will have more road projects and this issue will come back up again.”

He said since the council’s decision last spring to go forward with the road projects with assessments, the city has received three $4,000 payments.

Find recordings of Crosslake City Council meetings on the city's YouTube channel.

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Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com . Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

Related Topics: CROSSLAKE CITY COUNCILCROSSLAKEGOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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