A new storm sewer to serve a row of houses on 10th Avenue North near the aquatic center in Fort Dodge will be installed, and the property owners there won't have to pay any special assessments under a decision reached Monday by the City Council.
Councilman Dave Flattery said the decision will result in a small property tax increase for all property owners in the city.
''You realize this is a tax increase,'' he said. ''This will increase the levy, although not very much.''
The storm sewer has been planned since 2010. The City Council included $150,000 for it in a general obligation bond issue, and planned to pay off that debt with special assessments added only to the property tax bills of the home owners who would benefit from the new sewer.
Led by former council candidate Richard Higgins, those residents filed a petition which would require six of the seven councilmembers to vote in favor of the special assessment.
During Monday's meeting, councilmen Dean Hill, Robert ''Barney'' Patterson, and Mark Taylor said they were opposed to using special assessments. Councilman Don Wilson, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Matt Bemrich, has previously opposed special assessments.
Councilman Andy Fritz said he'd consider using special assessments.
Flattery, who supports the use of special assessments, asked if the City Council should now give a refund to property owners in the Rolling Hills neighborhood who agreed several years ago to pay such assessments for drainage improvements there.
He also described the failure to apply special assessments on 10th Avenue North as a ''political payback.''
''I don't owe anyone politically,'' Taylor replied.
''OK, so you're for a tax increase then'' Flattery said.
After scrapping the idea of special assessments, the council then slotted the work to be done in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That means construction could start this year or next year.