Friday, September 19, 2014

Paying Ransom Without A Hostage

The Wilmington City Council is on a path leading back to the days of accepting whatever proposal is placed in front of them without question and passing ordinances with unanimous votes. This is an example of the revival of the old “go along to get along” attitude. Two council members, speaking in confidence, told me that they didn't agree with the ordinance that they voted for.
A case in point is the ordinance now awaiting council's final vote to annex 200 acres of land fronting on David's Dr. and Rombach Ave. The first two of the three required readings were passed without question from council members and no questions are anticipated on the final vote.
Rather than treating this ordinance as an individual piece of legislation, council simply rubber stamped language from previous, similar annexation agreements.
That language includes an agreement with the Union Township trustees to compensate the township for the privilege of ceding administrative and financial responsibilities to the city. The agreement includes the critical phrase, “Changes in the valuation of the property over the term of the agreement shall be reflected in corresponding changes in payments to the township”. There is no legal obligation for such language.
In plain language this means that the payment to the township, a percentage of the property's taxable value, will increase as the property is developed even though the township has no part in the development.
The current taxable valuation of the property is $133,800 with a $290,000 agriculture exemption.
The property is located with double road frontage and in the center of the city's commercial district and development is inevitable. As a result the city will compensate the township an ever increasing amount over the next fifteen years.
Paul Hunter

No comments:

Post a Comment