Taycheedah Sanitary District No. 3
Wednesday, October 5 2005
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: at the Town Hall
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on October 5, 2005, at 7:00 o’clock P.M., at the Taycheedah Town Hall, W4295 Kiekhaefer Parkway, Town of Taycheedah, Wisconsin, the Commission of the Town of Taycheedah Sanitary District #3 (St. Peter Area Sanitary District) will hold a public hearing regarding the amended special assessments proposed to be levied for payment of a portion of the cost of the District’s Municipal Sanitary Sewer project.
The Sanitary Sewer project consisted of the installation of Sanitary Sewer main and related improvements in portions of the District. The assessment district remains the Phase I service area. Owners of property included in the project or that may be potentially affected by assessments will be notified by the District. All affected property owners, their agents or attorneys may be heard at the public hearing. Written comments from persons unable to attend the public hearing will be considered at the hearing.
A report identifying the construction and its costs and the proposed amended special assessments for all affected property owners is on file with the Sanitary District, Brenda A. Schneider, at the Taycheedah Town Hall located at W4295 Kiekhaefer Parkway, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The report may be inspected by arrangements with the Sanitary District. In addition, a copy of the report may be viewed at the offices of Donohue, Sharpe & Casper, S.C., 76 Western Avenue, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Attorney Gary R. Sharpe being counsel for the Sanitary District. The report may be inspected by arrangement with Attorney Gary R. Sharpe.
At a meeting of the District Commission following the public hearing, the Commission may, in its discretion, issue its final resolution determining to proceed with levying the proposed amended special assessments.
Brenda A. Schneider
Town of Taycheedah Sanitary District #3
The St. Peter Sanitary District Commission met on Wednesday, October 5th, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of conducting a public hearing regarding the amended special assessments proposed to be levied for payment of a portion of the cost of the District sanitary sewer project. Members present were President Bill Gius, Commissioners Mike Freund and John Rickert. Also present were Attorneys Gary Sharpe and Jerry Edgar, Kathy Diederich of Schenck Business Solutions, Dennis Steigenberger of Foth & Van Dyke and Recording Secretary Brenda Schneider.
President Gius called the public hearing to order at 7:00 p.m.
President Gius introduced the Commission and their professional staff.
The District’s legal counsels provided the following overview:
The initial special assessments were levied in 2002.
There will be no change in the special assessment for a vast majority of the property owners.
The need for the amendments was driven primarily by a need to address consistency for sewer extensions.
The Commission needed to determine a fair apportionment for new development.
The interest rate imposed on deferred and stand-by assessments is 4.5% and is capitalized over 10 years.
The Ledge Road Basin is a separate area; and must be treated as such. The total build-out of the Ledge Road Basin was estimated to be 30 years. The original calculations estimated 100 years. The stand-by assessment increased from $1,440.00 to $1,735.00. The increase in the assessment will be due.
The stand-by assessments were based upon the number of properties developable in the future. The stand-by assessment for areas other than the Ledge Road Basin were calculated as follows:
$11,000 assessment on improved lots and buildable vacant lots as of 2002
-$4,500 developer’s average cost per lot for sewer construction
-$2,530 developer’s average cost per lot for road construction
$3,970.00 stand-by assessment per buildable lot
An ‘unknown future assessment’ was identified on lands with the potential of connection in the future.
Public comments and questions were as follows:
o Rose Smiljanic, N7602 Cty. UU, owns 25 acres along Ledge Road. Her parcel was split into two parcels by the formation of the District. She paid the vacant lot assessment of $5,900.00 under protest. Ms. Smiljanic questioned if she is expected to pay an additional $8,435.00 per the notice of amended assessment that she received. The response was no; the difference of $2,535.00 ($8,435.00-$5,900.00) is due if and when a house is built on the parcel.
o Duane Stibbs, N8296 Sunset Drive, paid the full $11,000.00 assessment on each of two vacant lots. Mr. Stibbs questioned if there will be any additional assessment fees when he sells the lots. The response was no; the lots are paid in full.
o James Karls, N7789 Ledgeview Springs Drive, had several questions. Mr. Karls enquired if all bids have been paid. The response was no; neither contractor has been paid in full yet. Mr. Karls asked what the final project costs were. The response was that the final costs are not yet determined.
Attorney Sharpe explained that the project is funded by special assessments, mil tax and a portion of the user charge. He also commented that the project costs include not only construction but engineering cost, legal expenses, shared sewer main and treatment capacity, etc.
o Mr. Karls asked about the cost of having GM Hietpas, CPA, LLC, do the invoicing for the quarterly billing. President Gius could not answer the question without researching it. Mr. Karls was advised to request a copy of Hietpas’ invoices. Mr. Karls asked if property owners have a choice to connect to the sewer because there are a lot of people who haven’t connected yet. The response was no; they do not have a choice. Approximately 60 homes have yet to connect due to delays with their contractor. However, all properties are being charged the full monthly user charge. Mr. Karls asked if the
October 5th, 2005 St. Peter Sanitary District 2.
$11,000.00 assessment was recorded as a lien against his property, and if so, how can he get a lien waiver from the District. Attorney Sharpe responded that the assessment is recorded only with the District and that the District does not issue lien waivers. Therefore, payment of the special assessment is not documented with the Fond du Lac County Register of Deeds. Attorney Sharpe suggested he keep his records in case there is a discrepancy.
o Dave Braun, N7670 Fine View Road, owns property across from Hawk’s Landing. His property is shaded on the map; other properties to the north are not shaded. Attorney Sharpe explained that the unshaded areas will flow to the north and that the shaded areas will flow south to Ledge Road. The shaded area received the notice of amended assessments. The intent of the notice was to make the affected property owners aware that when their area is sewered; their stand-by assessment will be $1,735.00, plus interest, plus the cost of constructing the sewer main. There is also an unknown future potential of lots. Attorney Sharpe was asked if they could construct the sewer main west of the road. The response was yes-with the suggestion they contact the District when they are ready to proceed.
o Glen Elmer, representing Signature Homes, acknowledged receipt of the letters of assessment for the lots in the Sand Hill Ridge subdivision. The stand-by assessment on Lot 1 contained a $3,700.00 credit ($5,900.00 less $2,200.00 for the lateral). A 4” lateral was installed by the District on Cty. QQ to provide one service to the 28 acres parcel. The lateral is located in the area of the retention pond and will never be used. Signature Homes requests the credit be transferred to Lot 9. Mr. Elmer was advised to submit a letter of request. Mr. Elmer also enquired about the stand-by assessment for Lots 1-6; which are zoned for condominium development. The letters Signature Homes received state a stand-by assessment of $3,970.00 on each lot. The six lots have one lateral to service two-unit structures on each lot. Attorney Sharpe suggested he request to be placed on the agenda of the next Commission meeting to address the issue. Mr. Elmer asked to be placed on the next agenda.
o Allen Sabel, W3727 Hwy. 149, owner of Steffes’ Tavern, commented that his assessment was $15,400 and yet he is being charged for two units on the user charge. Attorney Sharpe responded that the user charge for businesses is determined by federally-established governmental guidelines The number of units is based upon seating capacity.
o Jim Rosenthal II, N8177 Cty. QQ, intends to asphalt Rosenthal Court soon. Mr. Rosenthal questioned who addresses manhole height. Commissioner John Rickert and Bud Sabel, Maintenance Personnel, take care of the issue.
o Jerry Guelig, N8071 W. Ann Randall Drive, Taycheedah Town Chairman, also questioned the cost of paying Hietpas for the billing. Mr. Guelig thought the three sanitary districts in the Town could hire one person for $20,000-25,000 per year. Mr. Guelig was advised to request and review Hietpas’ billings. Mr. Guelig also commented that a duplex with two owners should pay two assessments. Attorney Sharpe responded that the Commission will review Schedule G.
o Joe Lemke, N7680 Fine View Road, asked if the District owns the Ledge Road sewer. Attorney Sharpe responded that the District will in the near future. Attorney Edgar added that the developer needs to dedicate the sewer to the District. Mr. Lemke questioned if the $1,735.00 stand-by assessment is a fixed price. Attorney Sharpe responded yes.
o Ken Groeschel, W3579 Hunters Lane, commented that it would have been cheaper to buy a lot than to pay for his existing house. He feels he is subsidizing the other areas. The response was that the developer must build the sewer in the subdivision. The associated costs are transferred to the buyer via the lot price. The lot price escalates for the cost of sewer construction and road construction. Attorney Sharpe added that the Ledge Road Basin is different because the assessments are based upon the construction cost of a shorter line, the area’s share of capacity, legal expenses and engineering costs, etc. Attorney Edgar further added that the assessment is based on the benefit to the properties and that an $11,000.00 assessment is unfair to those that have to pay to build the sewer and roads. President Gius explained that the Ledge Road Basin is subsidizing the other areas via mil tax and the debt reduction portion of the user charge.
o Jerry Guelig commented that we should forget about the cost of the road, that a developer could develop 1.5 acre lots and that the developer has to build the road regardless of the lot size. Mr. Guelig further claimed that the cost of the meter station for Ledge Road was double; that the bid was half the
October 5th, 2005 St. Peter Sanitary District 3.
amount. He further commented that there are two rookies on the Commission who don’t know what they are doing. President Gius asked Mr. Guelig to discontinue making false accusations and to provide documentation supporting his claims Mr. Guelig was unable to do so but claimed his information came from a commissioner. Mr. Guelig demanded to know what the original cost was. Mr. Guelig was asked to attend the next meeting of the commission. Mr. Guelig demanded to know how much the District is going to pay the Nett’s. President Gius referred the question to Kathy Diederich, the District’s auditor. Ms. Diederich asked Mr. Guelig to clearly state his question and added that she may or may not address his question due to the fact that the public hearing may or may not be the proper forum for the discussion. Mr. Guelig demanded to know the original price from the meter station to Hawk’s Landing; the engineering fees, construction fees, the 10” pipe vs. the 8” pipe that was put in. President Gius declared Mr. Guelig out of order. Mr. Guelig responded to President Gius that the biggest mistake he made was when he appointed you. Mr. Guelig then left. President Gius informed the attendees that Mr. Guelig’s statements were inaccurate and that he indicated he has been misinformed by a current commissioner.
o Tom Wehner, W4091 McCabe Road, questioned how grant eligibility is determined and how Johnsburg was able to qualify for grants. Dennis Steigenberger, a representative of the District’s engineering firm, responded that the median household income is determined on a town-wide basis. In the case of Johnsburg Sanitary District, the median household income was determined by the boundaries of the District.
o Commissioner Freund stated that he was prepared to address President Gius’ accusations. President Gius declared Mr. Freund out of order. Kathy Diederich commented that we can’t go back and redo what has been done. The Commission is now trying to bring consistency to all property owners in the District. Kathy further commented that there is a great deal of misinformation circulating amongst the district. President Gius requested that property owners attend the monthly meetings in order to obtain accurate information. He further commented that the District is carrying a substantial debt. The District needs to reduce the debt in order to make extensions manageable.
o John Buechel, W3963 Hwy. 149, questioned if the sewer made his home is more valuable. The response was yes; that he will not face the possibility of replacing an on-site system and destroying his landscaping.
o Carla Hafermann, N7762 Fine View Road, just moved into the District. Ms. Hafermann requested an explanation of the stand-by assessment. The response was that the $1,735 assessment would be paid if and when her home is connected to the sewer system. The area would also have the unknown cost of constructing the sewer main.
o Jim Karls, N7789 Ledgeview Springs Drive, questioned to lot density of new subdivision reducing the assessments and creating more revenue. The response was that the buyer will pay the stand-by assessment in addition to the increased cost of the lot due to the sewer construction and road construction costs. Glen Elmer, Signature Homes, added that new subdivisions will increase the number of properties; which will help pay off the debt through mil tax and user charges.
o Dennis Osterholt, N8650 Decorah Lane, questioned the tolerance of the continued use of failing systems because the contractor has not connected the homes yet. The response was that the delays have been caused by the weather. It was added that all properties are paying the full user charge. Mr. Osterholt is concerned about contamination. Attorney Sharpe responded that the District could bring a suit to force connections, but the Commission has not authorized him to take such action. President Gius suggested he speak with the home-owner.
o Dennis Lefeber, W3896 McCabe Road, asked about the unknown timing of additional phases and why he should be charged a mil tax. President Gius responded that the Commission will be addressing the issue in the near future. Kathy Diederich commented that a portion of the project benefits the unsewered areas; that is the justification for the tax. Attorney Edgar added that the mil tax was necessary for the funding. The mil tax also spreads the cost of the project as equitably as possible.
o Duane Stibb, N8296 Sunset Drive, recently purchased a 7 acre vacant lot in the District. The lot has one 4” lateral. He plans to build two homes. Mr. Stibb asked if two homes can connect into one lateral. The response was no. Mr. Stibb also questioned if he builds an 8” sewer main; would he get a
October 5th, 2005 St. Peter Sanitary District 4.
credit. The response was yes; $3,700.00 (the $5,900.00 vacant lot assessment less $2,200 for the cost of the lateral and riser). Mr. Stibb was reminded to obtain Commission approval before starting a sewer extension.
o Trevor Peterson, W4090 Redtail Court, commented that he paid a stand-by assessment of $1,520.00. The notice he received states the stand-by assessment is $1735.00. He questions if he will have to pay the difference. The response was yes.
o Ken Rieder, N8573 Cty. QQ, received am amended assessment notice for a sliver of property that used to be part of an old cheese factory. Kathy Diederich responded that the sliver of property was not assessed.
Commissioner Rickert addressed the attendees regarding the misinformation being distributed amongst the residents by Town Chairman Jerry Guelig. Mr. Guelig rarely attends the meetings. The misinformation he is distributing is having a negative impact on the Commission. Mr. Rickert expressed the need for more people to attend the meetings.
President Gius motioned to adjourn the public hearing at 8:36 p.m., seconded by John Rickert. Motion carried (3-0).
Brenda A. Schneider
District Recording Secretary
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