After further evaluation, FLTF determined that the proposed Four Lakes operations assessment, which was set to begin on the winter 2021 tax bill, is better suited to begin in 2022. Before implementing an assessment we want to ensure we have a quality implementation plan, therefore we need:
A system in place across the two counties to manage the assessment.
More certainty of the costs.
A robust review of the assessment benefit factors.
To avoid project delays, there must be an operations assessment in 2022 if grants from other sources such as private, state or federal (of at least $8-$10 million) are not committed by the end of 2021. We are making this change because we think that our efforts and resources would be better spent on advocating for large funding from the state and federal government rather than on gathering $1 million from the operations assessment. This is not expected to impact overall timing unless we are unable to acquire the needed funding.
In a public informational session about the Four Lakes Special Assessment on Monday, April 19, we shared changes to the assessment amounts. We're glad to see so many people engaged and interested in this topic so we are providing more information below.
What's the current estimated total assessment amount?
How does the math work in the above table? When I divide the total property assessment by 40, it doesn't equal the annual assessment.
The total property assessment amount is the principal without interest included. Similar to a mortgage on a house, the homeowner pays more than the principal because of interest added over time.
The operations assessment is also included in the annual capital improvement assessment, but not the principal or total property assessment amount. We currently estimate this at $72 per year for every property owner once the capital assessment begins.
How and why did the estimated assessments change from the original estimates (other than changes in project costs)?
Across all the lakes, one of the most impactful factors that changed the estimates was a decrease in the number of assessable parcels. When there are fewer parcels to distribute the assessment across, the assessment will rise for the parcels remaining. The primary reason for the parcel reductions is that we have identified more property owners with an adjacent lot with no development which has reduced factors. Additionally, the loan interest rate changed from 2% to 2.25%*, and the estimated project costs changed.
*This number was corrected from a previous version of this email which said 2.5%.
Join us this Wednesday, April 28, at 5 p.m. for an informational session about the state-of-the-art gauges and monitoring devices being installed on the waterways, and our emergency action plans being implemented in coordination with the counties.
Presenters include a hydrologist and meteorologist from the National Weather Service River Flood Forecast Group, a principal engineer from Spicer Group, the Midland County emergency management coordinator, and a senior engineer from The Essex Partnership.