Alice Campbell Havre Daily News email@example.com
A total of $6,650 has been tacked on to property tax bills of residents who have not paid the city for work done on their yards. City Council approved the move during a meeting Monday evening. A city ordinance requires that yards are maintained and, if there are excessive weeds or high grass, a property owner is cited with a public nuisance and given 10 days to remedy the issue. The tax additions affect about half of the total number of people who failed to maintain their yards this year, Mayor Bob Rice said. "Is this a cheaper way for them to get lawn service?" Said council member Pam Hillery. The fee is $150 for each time city workers must mow and get rid of weeds, said a public works department employee. But if the yard is cited as a public nuisance for garbage and junk instead, the fee can be higher and is based on an hourly wage for the workers and the cost of any equipment used. Rice said he cleans some yards for elderly residents who don't have equipment, can't maintain their lawns themselves for various reasons or can't afford the fee, but that overall, the fee is definitely not cheaper than hiring a lawn service. Most of the lots on the list have been there before, he said. Also during the meeting, after the second reading of several resolutions to levy taxes, the following fees were approved for provision of the following services: Solid waste: $99.48 per residence plus $49.74 for each additional living unit; 16-cubic-yard box roll-off containers at $1,601.51 and $80 each for extra dumps; 20-cubic-yard box roll-off containers at $1,699.98 annually and $80 each for extra dumps. Rates for commercial services with 300 to 400 gallon containers are based on the number of containers and number of dumps per week. The rates rose slightly, because of fewer garbage containers, but the Total amount allocated is the same as last year. Bull Hook maintenance: Based on total actual square footage for improved property and on a one-acre cap for unimproved property within city limits, for a total of $100,904. The total collected is the same as last year. Street maintenance: Based on individual property's frontage foot option for a total of $373,839. The cost of street maintenance rose approximately 10 percent. Street light maintenance: Based on lighting district and the rate per square foot. Rates dropped slightly. A resolution, finalizing the annexation of 100 properties into city limits, also was passed unanimously by City Council.