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Estherville Council approves annexation of Ridge Road

Hood casts dissenting vote

July 18, 2019
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

City administrator Penny Clayton said annexing Ridge Road west of Estherville would add 39 individuals and 23 land parcels to the tax rolls.

In a previous city council meeting, the council had considered amending the tax rate phase-in from a start of 75 percent tax exemption to starting at 50 percent.

Annexing Ridge Road will come with some expense to fix the road through the development. The city of Estherville is paying two-thirds of the cost with property owners in the development paying one-third.

Council member Gene Haukoos said the annexation has been in the city's successive five-year plans for approximately 20 years.

Council member Cindy Hood said, "I think 75 percent abatement is taking a huge hit, considering the expense the city will have to fix the road."

Clayton said the Ridge Road Association is unlikely to agree to the proposed amended tax phase-in plan, which would offer two years at 50 percent abatement instead of starting at 75 percent.

Hood said, "[The exemption] is a huge amount of money. What will the city gain? I don't see a gain for the city that offsets the expense of fixing that road."

Council member Brandon Carlin said, "I know this is a lot to swallow, but putting it off doesn't make sense. Fixing the road isn't going to get cheaper."

Clayton said the council's approval of the plan doesn't complete the annexation.

"Receiving 25 percent of the assessed taxes is much better than nothing. These people will be paying taxes to the city forever. They use our sewers, attend our schools, and receive other services already," Clayton said.

Police chief Brent Shatto said, "We are the first to respond to their calls."

Council member Roger Guge said, "Let's move this forward."

The council approved the annexation with Hood as the lone dissenting vote.

The phase in schedule calls for 10 years of exemptions: a 75 percent city tax exemption for the first two years, 60 percent for years three and four, 45 percent for years five and six, 30 percent for years seven and eight, and 15 years for years nine and 10 for a total exemption of $95,229 on $1,997,800 in 2019 assessed value.

The properties will add $113,363 to the city tax rolls each year at current rates after the exemptions are complete.



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