Soldotna City Council heard resident comment about a resolution passed at the previous council meeting Wednesday.
Tim Cashman Jr. explained his grievance with the council’s decision to pass a substitute resolution for the Porcupine Court Special Assessment District at its July 24 meeting.
The renovations for Porcupine Court include pavement, curb, gutter and drainage improvements. The original estimated cost of the SAD was $458,269. The substitute resolution estimated the cost to be $360,333. The city would pay 75 percent of the SAD. The lower costing SAD split 12.5 percent of the cost equally among the 16 properties and the remaining cost was divided among the properties according to the area of the parcel.
Cashman prepared and distributed a packet for his public comment scheduled as an agenda item requesting the council reconsider and postpone the Porcupine Court SAD.
He had multiple meetings with city administration about the SAD and offered a plan that he said, in his packet, was fair and allowed by code. He told staff he would not be able to attend the July 24 meeting. Administration did not notify him of the new plan, he said.
“The hybrid method used for Porcupine Court has never been used to my knowledge for good reason,” Cashman said at the meeting. … “This very method is now portrayed as the most equitable available. This assertion is completely false.”
Cashman said the total assessed value of the 16 properties in the SAD is $7,811,000. He owns five undeveloped lots that face the Waste Water Treatment Plant valued at $42,500. In his packet, Cashman listed five property owners who received reductions of 51 – 54 percent of the original estimate. Cashman received a 5 percent reduction for a new SAD cost of $18,405 for his five lots. He compared it to the single city parcel with the treatment plant and Animal Control buildings valued at more than $5 million with a SAD tax of $24,805.
He said he previously tried to combine his five lots into one in 1998, which would lower the SAD assessment cost to $7,142.25, but council denied his request.
In his packet, Cashman states, “the entire Kenai Peninsula Borough assesses property on a true value basis. If this method is good enough for all the residents of the Borough, it should also be good enough for the property owners on Porcupine Court.”
Not only are the savings in the $360,333 resolution disproportionate, according to Cashman, but he said they also violate five municipal code violations.
At the meeting, City Manager Mark Dixson said the administration disputes some issues Cashman presented.
“I fully understand where Mr. Cashman is coming from, but at the same time I fully understand where we are in the process and the procedure that we got here,” Dixson said at the meeting. “And I’m willing to defend the procedure that we used to do it.”
City Mayor Nels Anderson said because the city is under contractual obligations due to the passing of the resolution at the July 24 meeting, the council and administration will have to get legal advice on the issue.
The city manager was unavailable to comment on the issue Thursday.
The next council meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Aug. 28.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.