The Pioneer Press has covered the City Council’s June 19th decision to reduce our street assessments:
Homeowners will still pay half the cost of mill-and-overlay projects through direct assessments, but St. Paul will cover the ADA curb cuts — and those were a big part of what was driving up the bills. One couple said they'll save almost $2,500. https://t.co/K9xCJdBGIE
— FredMelo, Reporter (@FrederickMelo) June 20, 2019
The article gives some great insight into the City’s reasoning, quoting CM Prince, CP Brendmoen, and CM Noecker. It provides more insight into the work that the City put in behind the scenes to try to spread the burden of these street repairs more equitably while working within budgetary and other real-world constraints.
CM Noecker said:
“We are shifting more of the cost of the street work to the general fund, so overall the cost to each property owner is likely to go down, and we are all shouldering the cost through property taxes.”
CM Prince also commented:
“The bills were so huge, and the testimony was so dramatic, I asked the council to delay a vote at the time,” said Council Member Jane Prince. “We routinely tell people they don’t own the street in front of their house. But when we bill them for these large assessments, it’s inconsistent. It’s hard for us to have it both ways.”
While the City’s efforts to reduce the burden on individual property owners are welcome, CM Prince’s words lay bare the central moral and legal fallacy here: the City admits that these are fundamentally public roads… except when the time comes to pay for them.
The full article is available here: https://www.twincities.com/2019/06/19/st-paul-city-council-agrees-to-lower-mill-and-overlay-bills/