City to consider new special maintenance fee
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
The Madison City Commission will consider approving a new resolution that would establish a special maintenance fee to raise funds for street repair and maintenance when it meets at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at City Hall.|
Proposed Resolution No. 2013-23 would allow "a special maintenance fee upon the lots fronting and abutting any improvements within the City that are maintained by the City."
In the proposed resolution, the county treasurer would add the fee to regular property tax assessments "at the rate of $1 per front foot with a 100 foot maximum per lot or lots constituting a single contiguous parcel." That part of the proposed resolution would cap the fee at $100 per piece of property within Madison that runs along any city-maintained roadway.
The No. 2013-23 follows actions taken by the city commissioners this spring in which officials passed (and later rescinded) a resolution establishing a special maintenance fee without a cap. The first resolution -- passed on May 20 -- would not have affected nonprofit organizations, churches, schools, and any other entities that are not assessed property taxes.
The May resolution was met with opposition and city residents filed petitions calling for a public vote on the special maintenance fee. After the petitions were filed, city officials asked the South Dakota Attorney General's Office for an opinion on whether passing the first maintenance fee resolution was a legislative or administrative action.
If the approval of the maintenance fee falls into the area of administrative actions, city officials contend that it cannot go to a public vote.
The commissioners voted on June 24 to rescind the special maintenance fee as it was originally written, and told the public that they would spend the next two weeks reviewing how they could establish a more acceptable maintenance fee system.
City officials estimated that the original special maintenance fee would have raised $386,000 each year. Using a $100 cap per piece of property, they calculated Madison would collect $270,000 per year.
The commissioners also told the public that the city commission would need to approve the special maintenance fee each year for it to stay in effect.
The commissioners will consider a request from the Madison Chamber of Commerce to close several blocks of Egan Ave. on July 27 to hold Madison Discovery Day.
They will also review a transfer of service territory agreement between the city and Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric placing land recently annexed into the city onto the municipal utility grid.
The land affected by the transfer will provide the new location for Madison Community Hospital on the south side of the city.