City approves annual improvement assessments, delinquent utilitiesThe Red Wing City Council approved its annual list of improvement assessments and delinquent utilities at its meeting Monday night, but not without any questions raised.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
The Red Wing City Council approved its annual list of improvement assessments and delinquent utilities at its meeting Monday night, but not without any questions raised.
During a public hearing, both the owner and manager of Grand View Mobile Park in Red Wing approached the council to object to six notices they received for delinquent utility bills.
“The park itself does not consume or use this water or the garbage at these homes,” Grand View manager Rod Fitcha said. “We’re trying to determine why the park is being assessed as the property owners.”
Finance Director Marshall Hallock explained that the bills are sent to the customer/consumer, which by definition is the owner of the property that’s being served.
“The property isn’t being served is our point,” Fitcha said. “The premises, the home is being served.”
He continued by saying that if Grand View gets the bills, he will have to provide a notice to the tenants requiring payment within 10 days. If the deadline is not met, Grand View would evict them.
Council member Lisa Bayley told Fitcha his argument sounded like a legal question and said she’d like the city attorney to take a look at the wording of the city’s ordinance before voting to approve the list of assessments and delinquent utilities.
Shortly after, however, Hallock pointed out that if the list was not approved at Monday’s meeting, it would be pushed back all the way until next year.
“Hearing that, I think it’s important that we get this voted on,” Bayley said.
Although Fitcha previously stressed that putting the bills in the hands of the park would likely lead to eviction for many tenants, Council member Peggy Rehder said the city would not be at fault.
“That’s a business decision that they’re choosing to make,” she said.