BISMARCK, N.D (KXNET) — Have you noticed the price hike in property taxes and water bills locally? If so, you’re not alone: one resident of the city has certainly taken notice, and plans to do something about it.

Former Bismarck Mayor Marlan Haakenson (who served in the position from 1986-1990) stopped by KX’s station to voice not only his frustrations but his concern for the entire community — especially those with fixed income. He states that the recent bill hikes force many to live paycheck to paycheck, without the ability to afford necessities like groceries and medicine.

“We are going to create an initiative petition,” explains Haakenson. “It will mandate by city ordinance that they roll back the dollar amount you pay on your house, or your business place back to the dollar amount of what it was in 2018. When they first started, these increases the same would be true. The same petition would roll back these utility bills mainly the water bill so what the dollar amount was in 2018 the city said they needed those increases to do certain projects. Those projects are probably all done. They don’t need the extra money anymore.”

There is no deadline for the petition, but Haakenson hopes to have all the signatures he needs by the Spring or Summer of 2023. Considering he needs a total of 1,146 signatures, he’s hoping that people from in and around the city will come together to fight against high bills.

If you wish to learn more about the water bill petition, get a copy of the petition, or simply sign, call 701-255-1515.