Special assessments for Sheyenne Street project to be determined at upcoming West Fargo meeting
Residents have two more opportunities to object to the special assessments.
WEST FARGO — Those who still disagree with the special assessment district created to pay for the expansion of southern Sheyenne Street can still object in front of the West Fargo City Commission when they hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
A second special meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, to take action on any written appeals previously filed. Those with property within the improvement district who object to the allocations have an opportunity to file a written appeal for this hearing. Residents who submit a written appeal by 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, are able to present during the meeting.
At the last Special Assessment Committee meeting, West Fargo City Attorney John Shockley presented a number of properties that he recommended be reconsidered after initial objections. One included a no-build parcel. Shockley said it is designated as a green space and nothing can be built on the property. He recommended it not be assessed. Other properties that he recommended be changed were lots that were split into additional parcels.
Shockley said they were not recommending a change to the overall assessment but that the committee should apply economic development dollars to the large parcels and cap them for future development incentives.
"The city would essentially buy down those specials," Shockley said.
For example, a building with 300 apartments would be assessed at the amount a building with a 150 units would be. The remaining units would still be assessed but the city could cover those assessments using economic development tax dollars that it collects through the half cent economic sales tax. There are six properties in the special assessment district that have more than 150 units. Shockley said this will help development such as if someone was interested in building a tower in West Fargo similar to the one recently built in Fargo. This change would allow the city would be able to offer the assessment incentive.
"We're just recommending [the City Commission] take note if they want to encourage high density building, you may want to consider that, and then it's up to them," Special Assessment Committee Chair Jim Brownlee said.
To file an appeal, a property owner must submit it in writing to Tina Fisk, City Administrator ( firstname.lastname@example.org or Attn: Special Assessment Protest, 800 4th Ave. E., West Fargo, ND 58078). The appeal must include the names of all owners of the property, the property’s address and reference the improvement district being appealed. Property owners who previously submitted an objection to the Special Assessment Commission must submit a new written appeal to the West Fargo City Commission.
After the meeting, the West Fargo City Commission will determine if any action needs to be taken to adjust the special assessment allocation. They will revisit the district at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, to take final action on the matter. This meeting will be open to the public but public comment will not be taken.
If a landowner disagrees with the decision of the West Fargo City Commission, they may appeal to Cass County District Court. Following the confirmation of the special assessment list, the amount due can be paid without interest for 10 days. After the 10 days, the balance due is subject to interest.
On Sept. 19, the City Commission confirmed the special assessments for four improvement districts that can be paid off early by residents to save interest. Those districts are:
- 1315.2, Westview 3rd Addition Phase 2;
- District No. 1331, The Wilds 20th Addition;
- District No. 1332 – Westview 4th Addition
- District No. 1334 – 9th Avenue NE from 5th Street NE to 7th Street NE
These certified special assessments can be paid interest-free for the first 10 days after they become certified by contacting the city finance department at 701-515-5010. The interest-free payment window for these projects is open Tuesday, Sept. 20, through Thursday, Sept. 29. Only special certified assessments can be paid. Pending special assessments are estimates only.
After Sept. 29, the city will amortize the principal amount over a 25-year term and interest will accrue on the outstanding balance. An annual special assessment installment payment is included in the property owner’s Cass County consolidated tax statement and due with property taxes.