The Breckenridge City Council approved three resolutions when it met Monday, July 6 at Breckenridge City Hall.
The first two resolutions approved land purchase agreements within the city for industrial park development in south Breckenridge, Minnesota. Purchasing the properties would allow the city to extend and develop New York Avenue.
The council passed both land purchase agreements with BNSF Railway Company and George and Holly Schuler.
“It’s basically entitled to the Port Authority plan for developing the industrial park – one of the pieces to the puzzle,” Breckenridge Mayor Russ Wilson said. “They’re (properties) not tied together but they are all adjacent.”
Upon acquiring properties needed for the city project, New York Avenue would be extended on the south side of Breckenridge and the KT Trail would be rebuilt to connect with the extended avenue. Along with the road improvement, the city will also be extending water, sewer and electric services to the properties connecting onto the developed road.
Paying for these improvements would come from the city and from a special assessment to all the adjacent landowners to the road. The assessment is imposed on property owners by a city for improvements that not only benefit the city, but also those adjacent owners.
Two property owners, James Schuler and Dale Beyer representing Minn-Kota Ag, disagreed with the special assessment.
Schuler, whose land is currently used for agriculture, stated that the road would barely touch his property and if he developed it, he would have to extend the road and utility services. He doesn’t feel his property would benefit from the proposed assessment. His property is not in the city limits now and would not be charged the assessment unless he chose to use the utilities or become annexed into the city later on.
Any property not located within city limits cannot be assessed, although the amount can be deferred and if the property was ever annexed into the city and developed, the city could charge the assessment back to the property, City Attorney Alissa Harrington said.
Beyer also believed that the proposed assessment is more than what the property is worth. The city and Minn-Kota are currently negotiating the acquiring of an 80 feet property for the KT Trail extension.
The city of Breckenridge is required to prove the benefit of the improvements. A benefit analysis would be needed to prove how much of the improvements are viable to the specific properties. City Administrator Renae Smith indicated she would look into that analysis at last month’s council meeting.
Property owners can appeal or object to the amount that is being assessed. That would be done at the special assessment hearing which would follow the project approval by the council members, which has not yet happened.
The last resolution passed Monday evening was to approve of additional election judges for the 2020 primary and general elections. The additional judges were added to the list to serve if needed due to unforeseen events.
The next city council meeting is scheduled to be held at 5 p.m. Monday, July 20 at City Hall in Breckenridge.