Thurston County’s Public Works-Water Resources briefed the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) that there were no discrepancies on the Roll of Rates and Charges for Offut Lake Management District No. 24 during the commissioners’ meeting yesterday, September 20
“We received very few comments-- we received three qualifying written votes. When I say qualifying, to be considered, the comments need to be in writing to the board and received prior to the public hearing,” said Wilson.
Although there were objections, the comments received via email, letters, and public testimony did not identify any mistakes or needed corrections to the Roll of Rates and Charges.
The three qualifying comments referred to actually opposed the imposition of charges and the LMD in general.
A Lake Management District (LMD) is a county-administered initiative under the Healthy Lakes program funded through charges on lake-area properties.
The Board of County Commissioners held a public hearing last August 22 to collect comments related to the rates and charges classification for the new LMD, after they released a legal posting of the hearing and directly mailed all affected ratepayers.
“The purpose of the public hearing is to hear objections to the special assessment roll. It's an opportunity for ratepayers to review their annual rates and verify they're being charged the correct rate,” Water Resources Manager Tim Wilson said.
Wilson also shared that there are multiple classifications with the LMDs-- the most common being upland and lakefront properties, which are charged at very different rates.
The August 22 public comment session was an opportunity to examine the rates and the classifications for their property and identify any mistakes.
Travis Burns, from the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said that the recent public comment session held was not about whether they will dissolve the LMD and its rates.
“The board's decision coming forward here is whether or not is to determine if there is any error in terms of the proposed role of assessment. If a member of the public wanted to dissolve the Lake Management District, that's a different process. And that would have to require, among other things, a public petition,” said Burns.
Wilson said that aside from the qualifying comments, additional comments were received via public testimony.
“In review of those comments, on both the written comments and the comments received in the public hearing, no needed corrections were identified. So, no mistakes were made regarding their classifications,” added Wilson.
“And that was reflected by the citizens that came in-- they didn't bring anything to our attention that there was a deficiency in that regard. Most of it had to do with other things,” said Commissioner Gary Edwards.
The board is expected to pass a resolution on Tuesday, September 23, to confirm and approve the Roll of Rates and Charges.
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