Today we filed our joint appeal against the 2018 Street Maintenance Program charges with the Ramsey County District Court, following official notice to the City Clerk on July 9th.
26 neighbors named on the appeal
Although we had just 20 days following the City’s approval of our revised assessments to organize and file our appeal, the response from our neighbors has been overwhelming.
This first appeal names a total of 26 appellants, representing 20 individual properties. The appellants are drawn from four of the eight mill & overlay projects for 2018: Victoria St., Stryker Ave., Forest St., and Arlington Ave. – all of which had their assessment rolls passed at the June 19th meeting. We’re planning a supplemental appeal for the remaining four projects in due course.
Street maintenance program is nothing new
As we note in our appeal, the 2018 program is “little more than a scaled-down and rebranded version of [the city’s] discredited Street ROW Assessment Program.” That program was found to be illegal by the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016.
The primary purpose of the current Street Maintenance Program is to raise revenue and balance the city’s budget. The city’s own Public Works department has put forward a number of sensible options including a gas tax (that would raise $3 million under the Governor’s proposal), user fees, a bond issue, road restrictions to reduce wear from trucks and other heavy vehicles, or ad valorem property taxes.
The city could use any of these approaches to pay for street maintenance. What it can’t do is play with terminology to get around the law.
Read the appeal notice: 2018 Mill & Overlay Notice of Appeal – Victoria, Stryker, Forest, Arlington (PDF)