Alan Sorensen Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The city council unanimously approved an amended version of a resolution to levy a tax on property in Havre to defray the cost of maintaining the Bull Hook flood prevention system Monday night. The or iginal resolut ion had specified charging all landowners within the city limits according to the square footage of their property. The resolution was passed on its first vote Oct. 1 after city council member Gerry Veis asked that it be amended before the second and final vote. Finance Committee Chairman Rick Pierson set a committee meeting for last Tuesday to discuss possible amendments with any interested parties. He also asked that council members not on the committee also try to attend and voice their opinions. “When (the city) put the formula together, (landowners) were going to be assessed on all their undeveloped property,” Pierson said. “When the people came forth, they felt that was unfair. So the Public Works Department and council felt that the first acre of undeveloped land would be assessed and the other wouldn’t be.” Pierson said the assessment on an acre of land would be about $94 a year. Publ ic Works di rector Dave Peterson said he estimated the assessment on an average size lot of 7,000 square feet in the city at about $16. Peterson said the exemption only applied to unimproved property and that any improved property of more than an acre within the city would all be assessed. “They felt that it was a fair deal for all,” Pierson said, “so they seemed to be happy with the outcome of the meeting.” In other action, the council also unanimously approved a tax levy to help pay for solid waste services (garbage collection) in the city. Homeowners who failed to take respond to city warnings to clean up weeds and unsightly foliage on their property this summer will find an addition to their property taxes. The city council unanimously approved the inclusion of the fee assessed by the public works department for work done by its employees to clean up the offenders’ yards. Mayor Bob Rice said that not all those who failed to comply will be assessed. “I cut 35 yards myself this year that didn’t go on the taxes,” he said, noting that several were elderly or infirm and unable to do it or pay to have it done. Wells Fargo Bank President Alan Pearson then asked the council to approve a resolution authorizing the issuance, sale and delivery of a hospital revenue note to help finance a portion of the cost of the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center project. He said the authorization would allow the bank to make a low-interest loan to the nonprofit project, a process that has been done many times in the past. “The city of Havre has no obligation in this,” Pearson said. The council gave its unanimous approval.