Residents in Glen Ullin will have to help pay for millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements.
Glen Ullin has about $7 million in construction projects happening in town and about $4 million of it will be paid for by property tax.
During a meeting on Tuesday at the City Auditorium, the Glen Ullin Special Assessment Commission discussed putting a special assessment on the front footage residents’ property.
The front footage would be a levy based on the length of the property that faces the street.
Anthony Schirado of the Glen Ullin City Council, said the commission wanted to come up with a property tax that would be fair to all the residents and front footage might be the best option.
Since 2016 the city has been working on two projects to help improve the city’s infrastructure.
One of them is the $2.1 million South Avenue Street and Utility Improvement project.
About $875,000 of the South Avenue project is being paid for by Morton County, and the remainder will be paid by the city through the special assessment.
The other project is $5 million Sewer Rehab project in city limits.
About $2.3 million of it is being paid for by a grant awarded to the City of Glen Ullin, and the rest will be paid for by the special assessment
Jerod Klabunde, of Moore engineering and the project manger for the Sewer Rehab project, said the main sewer lines in town are more than 70 years old and have “outlived their life”.
BEK Consulting is putting in new plastic sewer lines with a 100 year life expectancy.
The Glen Ullin City council will vote in July on whether or not to approve the front footage special assessment, but some are worried that an increase in property tax will hurt people on a fixed income and wish the city had asked the residents before moving forward on the projects.
“All of the sudden it was approved, and we had a meeting in November of 2016 . . . and it went to no vote of the people, ” said Jay Brausch, Glen Ullin resident.
“Water and sewer doesn’t have to go to the vote of the people. Just street projects where you are actually paving the streets.’ said Schirado.
A city official said residents will have twenty years to pay off the special assessment levied on their property with the South Avenue project, and thirty years for the Sewer Rehab project.