City of Fargo Special Assessment Task Force Holds First Meeting

Part of the conversation centered on the debate between infrastructure benefit and taxpayer benefit

FARGO– The City of Fargo Special Assessment Task Force is starting the conversation on something that affects all property owners, special assessments.

“The main concern I expressed today was the fact that we’re using old century code, 1800 century code, to define our policies in the 21st century,” Fargo resident and Task Force member Curtis Goroski said.

While the task force eventually wants to identify alternative finance methods, its first meeting was a debate on the policy itself.

A presentation on the history of special assessments sparked the conversation.

“A lot of things came out,” City of Fargo special assessment coordinator Dan Eberhardt said. “A lot of things we already know. So, I think moving forward this task force will have more good discussion on how specials are going to be coming forth and particularly, the funding side of it.”

The task force is made up of both Fargo city officials and Fargo residents.

Part of the conversation centered on the debate between infrastructure benefit and taxpayer benefit.

“The way we’re defining the benefits and the cost of those benefits, I don’t believe they match with what people are really getting,” Goroski said.

Task force members brought up the need for transparency between elected officials and taxpayers.

“I want the people of Fargo to know that we’re not trying to cut around the edges and change the system itself,” City of Fargo commissioner Tony Gehrig said. “We want to look at the policies as a whole and say, is this policy correct? And if not, what can we do to fix it.”

The task force hopes to have multiple funding alternatives by December.

“I want to have options on the table so that I can present to the taxpayer and say, this is what each one of these look like, you tell me what you want,” Gehrig said. “I don’t want us to decide. I want us to have the options out there and then have it go to a vote of the people and say how do you want specials, because you’re the ones paying it.”

The next meeting for the City of Fargo Special Assessment Task Force is on September 6th.

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