By Steve Peterson
Property owners impacted by upcoming work in the Akron, Westfield and Hinton drainage districts will not be charged an administrative fee.
That was the direction the Plymouth County Supervisors discussed at their May 21 regular meeting although no formal vote was expected until their next meeting on June 4.
A total of 1,400 property owners will be impacted by the tax bills from the drainage districts.
Supervisors said they were surprised about the administrative fee.
“It is in the Iowa Code (to charge the administrative fee),” said Auditor Stacey Feldman.
“We have charged an administrative fee in the past,” said County Treasurer Linda Dobson.
Another option is to take the administrative fee out of the drainage district assessment,” Feldman said, explaining with the Westfield District, the $100 per parcel per year assessment could be split with $95 going to the drainage district for the work and $5 for an administrative fee going to the county’s General Fund.
“I think at the Westfield (May 16) hearing people were surprised about the administrative fee. It could be large for someone with multiple parcels,” said Board Chairman Jim Henrich. “The fee for each parcel was really bothering them.”
“One person mentioned that they thought that the last $60,000 did not buy very much,” said Supervisor Don Kass, referring to the work done with a Westfield Drainage District Special Assessment.
“People also said they thought that more got done than they expected,” said Supervisor Craig Anderson.
“It should be charged once per landowner, not parcel,” said Kass.
The Westfield Drainage District charge will be for six years, while Akron’s is for two years and Hinton’s is for five years.
The supervisors’ final consensus was to waive the administrative fee for all three drainage districts; therefore, the whole assessment would go into the drainage districts’ funds, said Feldman, noting the supervisors will take formal action on the matter at their June 4 meeting.