Corcoran welcomes water, now to determine assessments

The water is officially on in Corcoran. The city council saw this photo of the city’s first ever fire hydrant in action, located near St. Thomas Catholic Church. Phase one of the sewer/water project is complete, extending services from Maple Grove to County Rd. 116.

The water is officially on in Corcoran. The city council saw this photo of the city’s first ever fire hydrant in action, located near St. Thomas Catholic Church. Phase one of the sewer/water project is complete, extending services from Maple Grove to County Rd. 116.

The Corcoran City Council heard that the city’s first ever municipal service extension is piped and ready to go.

The council even saw a photo of the city’s first ever fire hydrant, located next to St. Thomas Catholic Church.

The next task for the council is to determine who should be assessed for receiving such municipal services.

 

ASSESSMENTS

City engineer Vince VanderTop briefed the council regarding an assessment manual.

The council is reviewing issues related to assessments, and has directed staff to draft an assessment policy.

The current policy does not address assessments for other improvements beyond street improvements. VanderTop compared Corcoran’s policy to ones from three area cities: Dayton, Delano and Medina.

VanderTop’s analysis shows that Dayton, Delano and Medina assess 100 percent for new sewer and water construction.

“Beyond a comparison of assessment rates, each policy includes similar yet different information,” VanderTop wrote in his memo to the council.

He then highlighted five recommendations for the council to consider adding to Corcoran’s policy:

1. List of improvements and maintenance costs eligible for assessment.

2. Discuss interest rates. Delano adds .5 percent, Medina 2 percent and Dayton does not specify; Corcoran’s rate is currently at 1 percent.

3. Review methods of assessment (VanderTop recommends adding an area charge method).

4. Deferment of assessments, such as for senior, disability and military.

5. Utility assessment rates.

VanderTop said the cities develop policies based on their unique issues, tax base, sources of revenue and project history.

“As an overall recommendation, the council should review the policies and identify the areas of importance to the city of Corcoran, and areas in which additional detail should be provided in our assessment policy,” VanderTop said. He also said staff could “backtest” a few options to allow the council to review impacts to the recently completed five-year financial plan.

Mayor Ken Guenthner and the council did not take action, but will continue to review information gathered by staff before drafting a new assessment policy. City administrator Dan Donahue said staff would put together a draft document and present it to the council for discussion in the next month or so.

 

BOND SALES

In other news, administrator Dan Donahue updated the council regarding bond sales for the new public works building and for equipment certificates.

The sales are scheduled for Nov. 8.

Both bond issues will have an official statement at the time of sale. Donahue asked the council to read over the official statement and let him know if there are any material inaccuracies. He said the official statement doesn’t have to be finalized until after the sale of the bonds.

“For now, read over and if you have suggestions, we have plenty of time to make the corrections,” Donahue said in his memo.

The council passed a motion authorizing Donahue to provide the necessary information for the bond sale.

In other action, the council:

HEARD there was a construction meeting regarding the new public works facility. Staff is working with the construction manager to determine what the building’s needs are. Once the needs are defined, the list will be turned over to the architect for design.

REVIEWED the sixth revision of the 2013 budget. Councilor Tom Cossette had recommendations for budgeting tax revenue compared to the levied amount. Final budget approval is in December.

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