Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ocean Shores News: Street LID Update ~ November 9, 2010


Ocean Shores Street LID
As of November 9, 2010

November 9, 2010
~ As I reported in my last update dated October 27th on the Street LID, the final assessment amounts were approved by the City Council. In the past week and a half, property owners, including myself, have been receiving their notices from the City with the assessment amounts due. I have personally received many calls and e-mails off my web site story on the Street LID from both current clients and other property owners, and there has been a lot of confusion about this poorly worded letter without any contact info. So let me help explain:

  • The City is offering a 10% discount if you payoff the LID by November 29, 2010. For example, if you owe $3,718.00, then your payment to the City would be $3,346.20.
  • If you choose to take the financing over the next 18 years, then your 1st payment is due November 29, 2011.
  • If you take the financing option, and if your payments are late, then you will be charged a penalty of 12%.
  • You may payoff the assessment amount anytime in the next 18 years (but you will not receive a 10% discount if payment is received after Nov 29, 2010); the payoff amount will be equal to the principal balance plus the interest on the unpaid amount.
  • Contact Info: City Utility Billing Department -- 360-289-2487 or e-mail Mike Folkers, City Finance Director, at mfolkers@osgov.com.

The City posted a FAQ sheet about the Street LID on November 1st. Click here to view.
In summary, the 10% discount period is good only until November 29th and the City does not know the interest rate, but estimates about 6.25-6.75%. The City does not know the interest rate because the bonds have not been secured yet and cannot be secured until the City knows how much is to be financed. So hence why there is an early discount payoff period; the City wants to finance the least amount as possible.

As part of my commentary on the handling by the City Council, the Mayor Garland French and Ken Lanfear, Public Works Director, of this entire process for the Street LID, here some more points I am adding:

  • These notices were dated October 22nd and mailed October 29th, yet the 10% discount period started on October 28th.
  • The City has only provided a 30-day discount period to payoff amounts of about $2,700-$6,000, which is not a lot of time for property owners to scrap together that amount of cash, especially in this economy.
  • The timeframes operating by the City have been extremely hurried, as pointed out in my previous posts/updates and in my 2 previous bullet points.
  • Poorly worded notice and no contact info printed.
  • Many property owners, including many of my own clients, who have contacted me have reported that they have never received any notices prior to this Final Notice.

My previous protests I made known were the following:

  • Many property owners have reported to me that they never received any correspondence from the City regarding this Street LID over the past 3 years; many sellers found out about this Street LID through me.
  • The timeframes placed by the City were unreasonably short.
  • The increased costs of the project with no halt of the project by the City when oil prices went up to $145/barrel in 2008.
  • The City needed new roads, but the mishandling of the project by Ken Lanfear and the Mayor(s) & the City Council has created an uproar by the property owners that could have been greatly decreased if common sense was applied.

My hope is that we can learn from the mistakes made in this project and not repeat them.

With all of these events that have transpired, how do you feel about the job completed by the City officials? Do you believe they did their due diligence or do you believe they should be brought to task?
If you want to make your questions, comments and/or protests known, please contact the following responsible parties:

  • Mayor Garland French: gfrench@osgov.com
  • Public Works Director Ken Lanfear: klanfear@osgov.com
  • The current City Council: John Lynn, Bob Crumpacker, Peggy Berry, David Creighton, Jackie Farra, Dick Skewis, and Gordon Broadbent
  • Visit the City's web site at www.osgov.com

I would greatly appreciate if all property owners reading this story would please e-mail me at aswenson25@juno.com and answer the following survey:

1) Did you receive your Final Notice Confirming the Street LID Assessment Role dated October 22nd?
2) Did you receive the letter announcing that there will be a LID Hearing on September 20th?
3) If you made a written protest to the Hearing Examiner by Sept 20th, did you receive a letter dated October 7th about the Findings/Recommendations being filed and having the right to file an appeal?
4) Did you receive any other written correspondence from the City in the past 3 years regarding this Street LID? If so, what were they and dated when?

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