Section 10.1 The council shall have the power to provide for assessing and reassessing the costs, or any portion thereof, of public improvement to a special assessment district and to determine, by resolution, with or without a petition that the whole or any part of the expense of any public improvement be defrayed by special assessment upon the property especially benefited in proportion to the benefits derived or to be derived.
The council may, in the exercise of its powers of financing the whole or a part of the cost of public improvements, make special assessments upon districts benefited thereby.
Section 10.2 (a) The council shall prescribe, by ordinance, the complete special assessment procedure governing the initiation of projects, preparation of plans and cost estimates, creation of districts, making and confirming of assessment rolls, correction of errors in special assessment rolls, the number of installments in which special assessments may be paid, collection of assessments, refunds of excess moneys, and any other matters concerning the making and financing of improvements by the special assessment method.
(b) Such ordinance shall be subject to the following provisions.
(1) No resolution finally determining to proceed with establishing any special assessment district for the making of any public improvement shall be adopted by the council, until cost estimates have been prepared and a public hearing has been held on the advisability of so proceeding.
(2) No special assessment roll shall be finally confirmed, until after a meeting of the council has been held for the purpose of reviewing such roll.
(3) Ten days notice of each meeting of the council for a public hearing on the advisability of proceeding with any public improvement and to review any special assessment roll shall be given prior to the date and time of such meeting, which notice shall be published and sent to all property owners in the proposed district, as shown by the current assessment roll of the city, by first class mail.
(4) If, prior to the public hearing on the advisability of proceeding with the making of the improvement, written objections to the proposed improvement have been filed by the owners of property in the district which will be required to bear more than fifty percent (50 percent) of the amount of such special assessment, the resolution determining to proceed with the improvement shall be adopted only by the affirmative vote of four or more members of the council.
Section 10.3 (a) Additional pro rata assessments to defray the cost of any public improvement may be made when any special assessment roll and - or the proceeds of sale of special assessment bonds issued in anticipation thereof proves insufficient to pay for the improvement for which it was levied and the expenses incidental thereto, or to pay the principal and interest on bonds or other evidence of obligation issued therefor; provided, that the additional pro rata assessment shall not exceed fifteen percent (15 percent) of the assessment as originally confirmed, unless a meeting of the council be held to review such additional assessment, for which meeting notices shall be published and mailed as provided in the case of the review of the original special assessment roll.
(b) Whenever any special assessment shall be invalid, or if any court of competent jurisdiction shall adjudge such an assessment to be illegal, the council shall have the power to cause a new assessment to be made for the same purpose for which the former assessment was made, and to direct that the same be levied accordingly. All proceedings on such reassessment and for the collection thereof shall be conducted in the same manner as provided for the original assessment, except respecting the correction of the proceedings for the purpose of making the proceedings legal. Whenever any sum or part thereof levied upon any property in the assessment so set aside has been paid and not refunded, the payment so made shall be applied upon the reassessment or, if the payments exceed the amount of the reassessment, refunds shall be made.
(c) No judgement or decree nor any act of the Council vacating a special assessment shall destroy or impair the lien of the City upon the premises assessed for such amount of the assessment as may be equitably charged against the same or as by regular mode of proceedings might have been lawfully assessed thereupon.
Section 10.4 The excess by which any special assessment proves larger than the actual cost of the improvement and expenses incidental thereto may be placed in the general fund of the City if such excess is five percent (5 percent) or less of the assessment. If the assessment should prove larger than necessary by more than five percent (5 percent), the entire excess shall be refunded on a pro rata basis to the owners of the property assessed as shown by the current assessment roll of the City. Such refund shall be made by credit against future unpaid installments to the extent such installments then exist the balance of such refund shall be in cash. No refunds may be made which contravene the provisions of any outstanding evidence of indebtedness secured in whole or part by such special assessment.
(Ord. 182, § 3, passed 2-13-2012)
Section 10.5 No suit or action of any kind shall be instituted or maintained for the purpose of contesting or enjoining the collection of any special assessment; (a) unless, within thirty days after the confirmation of the special assessment roll, written notice is given to the Council of intention to file such suit or action stating the grounds on which it is claimed such assessment is illegal; and (b) unless such suit or action shall be commenced within sixty days after confirmation of the roll.
Section 10.6 Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, moneys raised by special assessment for any public improvement shall be credited to a special account and shall be used to pay for the costs of the improvement for which the assessment has levied and expenses incidental thereto and to repay any money borrowed therefor.
Section 10.7 Failure to receive any notice required to be sent by this charter or by ordinance shall not invalidate any special assessment or special assessment roll. Notice by first class mail shall be presumed to be effective service.
Section 10.8 The council may provide for the deferred payment of special assessments from persons who, in the opinion of the Council and Assessor, by reason of property, are unable to contribute toward the cost thereof. In all such cases, as a condition to the granting of such deferred payments, the City shall require mortgage security on the real property of the beneficiary, payable upon his death.
Section 10.9 Upon confirmation of each special assessment roll, the special assessment thereon shall become a debt to the City from the owners of the premises against which assessments are made and, until paid, shall be a lien upon the property assessed for the amount of such assessments and all interest and charges thereon. Such lien shall be of the same character and effect as created by this Charter for City taxes.
The council may provide by ordinance for fees, penalties or interest for last payments or nonpayment of special assessments, which fees, penalties and interest shall be a lien and shall be collected as are penalties charged on city taxes. The council may provide that delinquent special assessments be placed upon the tax roll, together with any accrued fees, penalties and interest thereon to be collected in all respects as are city taxes or may make such other provision for the enforcement of the lien created by such special assessment.
(Ord. 182, § 3, passed 2-13-2012)
Section 10.10 When any lot, building, or structure within the City, because of age or dilapidation, the accumulation of refuse or debris, the uncontolled growing of noxious weeds, or because of any other condition or happening becomes, in the opinion of the Council, a public hazard or nuisance which is dangerous to the health, safety, or welfare of the inhabitants of the City, or of those residing or habitually going near such lot, building, or structure, the Council shall after investigation, give notice to the owner or owners of the land upon which such nuisance exists, to the owner or occupant of the building or structure itself, by posting notice upon the premises, by publication, by personal service, or by registered or certified mail addressed to the address set forth in the current assessment roll of the City, or the records of the Assessor specifying the nature of the nuisance and requiring such owner or occupant to alter, repair, tear down, abate, or remove the nuisance within a time to be specified by the Council which shall be commensurate with the nature of the nuisance. If, at the expiration of the time limit in said notice, the owner has not complied with the requirements thereof, or in any case where the owner of the land or of the building or structure itself is not known or cannot be found, the Council may order such hazard or nuisance abated by the proper department or agency of the City which is qualified to do the work required, or may do the work by contract or by hire, and the cost of such abatement may be assessed against the lot, premises, or description of real property upon which such hazard or nuisance is located, by special assessment.