Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

January 24, 2014

Resident faults street paving

Wednesday’s Ad Express story about Monday’s Centerville City Council meeting results and Jim Milani who talked to the council for almost 60 minutes ended with Milani stating: ... forcing industrial, commercial and residential property located “a distance from the paving project” and have minimal benefit to shoulder higher taxes “is unfair and unrealistic.”

Milani, a Centerville resident and attorney, was at Monday’s council meeting because he was under the assumption the council was going to hold a public hearing regarding the authorization not to exceed $5 million in general obligation capital loan notes for the East and West State streets and North 10th Street paving project.

What happened at Monday’s meeting was the council set Monday, Feb. 3 at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. to have a public hearing on the bond authorization.

The following is additional discussion concerning the street paving project from Monday’s meeting.

Milani repeatedly questioned the use of general obligation bonds only to pay for the project, something he called “a lien on all of the property in Centerville” and questioned why not use special assessment bonds?

“I’m not much in favor of this huge general obligation thing,” Milani said. “There’s nothing mentioned about special assessment (bonds).”

Special assessment bonds impose an additional property tax levied on property owners in the area benefiting from the improvement project. The idea is the value of the property in the project area increases.

“I think paying for these things has to have some relationship between the benefited properties and the people out here,” Milani said.

Milani said the $5 million general obligation bond issue would “completely upset our financial picture” and is “half of our potential legal limit on indebtedness. Use it for this project and you won’t have it for other projects.”

Milani urged caution when dealing with GOs and called the city’s decision to bond for up to $5 million “a real turning point.”

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