Council lines up series of assessment hearings

Published 7:44 pm Saturday, September 29, 2012

Those being charged for city services on their property will have an opportunity Monday night to discuss the assessments before the Austin City Council.

At a 5:30 p.m. council meeting Monday night, the council will hold eight separate public hearings to adopt assessments for a variety of services it rendered to local property owners over the past year. Residents will have an opportunity to discuss the costs that will be assessed them for snow, junk and weed removal, and for tax forfeited properties and deferred sanitary sewer assessments.

Hearings will follow addressing what the city charges property owners for the cost of sidewalk projects. Included are improvements on Fourth Street NW from Fourth to 10th avenues totaling about $12,500, and 14th Street NW from Oakland to Eighth avenues totaling about $17,000.

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In all, the hearings concern more than 120 assessments. Interest of 4.5 percent begins to accrue on Monday or one month later, on Nov. 1, depending on the type of assessment.


Law Enforcement Center remodel

The City Council will discuss the upcoming Law Enforcement Center remodel during a work session following the meeting, including an upgrade in dispatch radios.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Terese Amazi will ask the Mower County Board to approve the purchase of three radio consoles. In a memo to the city, Police Chief Brian Krueger explained the combined cost for the consoles will be $380,000, half of which will be covered by a grant. The remainder will be split between the city and county, leaving the city $95,000 to cover. All counties in southeast Minnesota now use the new radio system except for Mower.

In terms of the LEC remodel itself, estimates show the city will have to cover a cost of $909,817, while the county will cover the other half.


Other business:

During the meeting and the work session to follow, the council will also decide whether to:

—grant the Planning and Zoning Department the power to contract for the removal of junk at three Austin properties: 611 Third Ave. NW, 304 Third Ave. NW and 1306 12th St. NW.

—allow vehicles to be sold as part of the upcoming Police Auction. The models are two 1999 Dodge pickup trucks and a 1993 General Motors Co. Sierra.

—further discuss the possibility of going paperless for future council agendas and supporting materials. The council will review responses to a questionnaire City Administrator Jim Hurm sent out to the League of Minnesota Cities about other communities’ experiences going paperless.