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Mount Pleasant trustees in a vote of 3-2 Monday rejected leveling special assessments to pay for a water and sewer project they’d unanimously approved just a few minutes before.
Village President Jerry Garski and Trustees Gary Feest and Ken Otwaska voted against while Trustees Sonny Havn and John Hewitt voted in favor. Board members David DeGroot and Jon Hansen were both excused.
The project in question involves the construction of municipal water on Cynthia Lane, a move residents there support and requested from the village. Board members voted in favor of moving forward with the work – for which a contract has already been awarded – but balked at assessing each homeowner there $13,900 to pay for the $139,000 extension.
At issue is the perceived fairness of the assessment; property owners who have 100 feet of frontage would pay the same, for example as a neighbor with 1,000 feet of frontage in addition to the length of lateral needed from home to the water main and the standard connection charge.
Over on Highway V where residents will also have a water main – albeit one they did not ask for – homeowners are being assessed by the foot.
During the discussion about the assessments on Cynthia Lane, Feest remarked that the way Mount Pleasant levies special assessments is haphazard and a new methodology needs to be explored. Otwask agreed.
“We need to find another plan on how to fund these things,” he said.
Havn noted that a contract has already been awarded, and the village needs a plan.
“For those of you who voted against this, what’s the plan?” he asked.
After the meeting, Garski said board members and residents have asked for a vigorous discussion, and that’s what they’ll get.
“We’re going to have a discussion where we can figure all of this out,” he stated.