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17.28.160 Assessment of Charges.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 182760 and 183348, effective December 18, 2009.) 

A.  The City Auditor shall refer to the City Engineer or responsible bureau all remonstrances and remove from further assessment action the proposed assessments which are associated with the remonstrances.  The City Engineer or responsible bureau shall review each remonstrance by taking the following actions:

1.  Determine whether the improvement work was required by Code and whether the conditions required the improvements, whether the required improvements are consistent with Code and City specifications, and whether the improvement charges are calculated as provided by Code; and

2.   Determine the extent of actions or adjustments which are necessary to bring the proposed assessment into compliance with Code and program standards; and

3.  Mail a statement of findings to the remonstrating property owner, and file a copy with the City Auditor.  The findings shall include a statement that the property owner may appeal the determination to the Council.

B.  The Council shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed assessments, however is should be held no sooner than 20 days following the date of the proposed assessment notice as provided in this Chapter.  The Council shall consider and make its determinations based on the requirements of this Code and the City specifications maintained by the City Engineer.  The Council shall affirm or modify the proposed assessments based on its findings.  The Council’s decisions shall be implemented by ordinance which sets forth its findings and decision.  The decision of the Council may be appealed to the court by writ of review.

C.  Following adoption of the assessing ordinance, the City Auditor shall mail a final assessment notice to the owners of the affected property as shown on the last available assessment roll in the office of the county assessor.  The notice shall be deemed given upon deposit in the U.S. mail.  The notice shall contain the following information:

1.  The legal description and site address of the property;

2.  The final assessment amount;

3.  A statement that the final assessment is recorded in the Docket of City Liens, and is a lien which has first priority against the property as provided by state statute;

4.  The manner and deadline for paying the final assessment in full or requesting to pay the final assessment in installments if authorized by Code;

5.  The interest, penalties and collections costs which shall be charged if the final assessment is not paid or an installment payment contract is not filed before the deadline contained in the notice; and

6.  A statement that delinquent final assessments may be collected by foreclosure and property sale.

D.  The City Auditor shall maintain a Docket of City Liens containing final assessments on property.  Any unpaid final assessment shall be recorded in the City lien docket, and it shall be binding upon the property owner and all subsequent property owners of the property or any segregated part of it.  The docket shall stand thereafter as a lien docket the same as ad valorem property taxes assessed in favor of the City against each lot or parcel of land until paid, for the following:

1.  The amount of the unpaid final assessments docketed, with accrued interest at the rate determined by the City Council, or in the case of an installment contract, at the rate set forth in the contract; and

2.  Any additional interest, penalties, or billing charges imposed by the City with respect to any installments of final assessments which are not paid when due.

E.  All unpaid final assessments together with accrued and unpaid interest and penalties and billing charges are a lien on each lot or parcel of land respectively, in favor of the City and the lien shall have first priority over all other liens and encumbrances whatsoever.

F.   The City shall enforce assessment liens and installment payment contracts under this Chapter in the same manner as other City assessments as set forth in Title 5.