Statement of Assessment Policy
It is the purpose of this policy to establish a method of equitably assessing costs of wastewater facilities against benefited properties, pursuant to KRS 220.010 to 220.520.
1. OCEA will prioritize installation of collector sewers in existing neighborhoods or developments served by on-site disposal systems based on the following conditions:
A. OCEA is directed by a resolution from the Oldham County Board of Health, court order, or similar edict to serve the area because of real or potential health and environmental problems;
B. OCEA receives a formal request by the governing body of an area to be served; or
C. In response to a referendum conducted by OCEA of property owners subject to payment of assessment costs in the area to be served, a majority of those responding request, or are in favor of, the assessment proposed therein by OCEA. OCEA may consider a petition signed by a majority of those property owners affected by the assessment project in lieu of a referendum. Preliminary discussions with any neighborhood may take place with representatives without a petition or referendum. A referendum conducted pursuant to this provision shall not be repeated for the same assessment project for a period of at least one year from the date of the original referendum.
2. Where sewers are constructed by assessment, each benefited property shall pay an assessment cost. Each benefited property shall receive one property service connection.
3. If two or more properties, (recorded as separate properties in the Deed Room of the Oldham County Court House), are treated as one property for purposes of determining assessment costs, such assessment costs shall be split and charged to each of the properties.
4. The method to be used in determining assessment costs shall be based upon the cost to serve the property. The method shall group similarly benefited properties into assessment zones unless another equitable method is approved by the OCEA Board for a specific project. All properties within a given zone will have the same assessment cost and the cost assigned to each zone shall be in proportion to the cost to serve properties within the zone. OCEA has determined that the best method of grouping properties is to use the property measurement factor (front footage) and a square footage factor. OCEA will adopt detailed Assessment Procedures to carry out this assessment method. A project may have one or more assessment zones depending on the variation in property measurement factors (front footage) and square footage factors in the project area.
5. For each assessment zone, a guaranteed maximum assessment will be established based upon the proportionate cost to serve properties therein. The guaranteed maximum assessments will be such that the total costs assessed equals the assessable project cost based on pre-construction estimates.
6. It will be the purpose of this policy to equitably treat all properties within a project area, and to assign the lowest equitable guaranteed maximum assessment cost to all such properties.
7. Efforts will be made to obtain funds from other sources to help finance the cost of the project and reduce assessable costs.
8. For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
A. Benefited Properties: Developed and undeveloped lots and tracts of land abutting proposed sewers which are to be served by those sewers.
B. Property Measurement Factor (foot frontage): A measurement of the property established on the basis of the property’s size and use under the procedures.
C. Square Footage Factor: A measurement of the area of the property established on the basis of the property’s dimensions.
D. Assessment Zone: The grouping of similarly benefited properties under the Assessment Procedures.
E. Assessable Costs: Those costs which shall be paid by the benefited properties as follows:
Easement Costs: All costs related to the acquisition of easements for assessable construction, including amounts paid to the property owners, recording fees, acquisition fees and commissioners’ fees.
Sewer Construction Costs: Includes all actual construction costs of sewers, drains and appurtenances, whether installed by, or under contract with, OCEA, as provided in KRS 220.270.
Property Service Connection Construction Costs: Includes all actual costs of construction to connect the property to OCSD’s sewer, whether installed by, or under contract with, OCEA, as provided in KRS 220.270.
Non-Construction Costs: Includes costs of surveys, designs, plans, specifications, advertising, inspection and administration, whether preformed by consultants or by OCEA; provided, however, that the total of such costs assessed will not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the actual sewer construction cost.
F. Non-Assessable Costs: All other costs of the project that are not assessable costs, which include but are not limited to:
Capacity Charges: Developed properties will not be assessed a capacity charge for wastewater services.
Connection Fees: Developed properties will not be assessed a fee to connect property sewer to main OCEA sewer.
Non-Construction Costs: Includes costs of surveys, designs, plans, specifications, advertising, inspection and administration, whether performed by consultants or by OCEA to the extent that, and in the amount by which, such costs exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the actual sewer construction cost.
G. Guaranteed Maximum Assessments: The actual assessment amount for any benefited property will not exceed the Guaranteed Maximum Assessment for the assessment zone in which that property is located. All guaranteed maximums will be approved by the OCEA Board, based on pre-construction estimates, and furnished to owners of property within the assessment zone.
When bid prices exceed pre-construction estimates, OCEA may, at its option, rebid the project if unusual circumstances in the bidding indicates a lower price may be obtained by rebidding. In the alternative, OCEA may pay the cost overrun and the project will continue.
If the computed assessment, using actual costs, exceeds the Guaranteed Maximum Assessment, OCEA will pay the cost overrun. If the computed assessment, using actual costs, is less than the Guaranteed Maximum Assessment, the benefited properties will be assessed the lower amount in the same proportion as previously established for the assessment zones in which the properties are located.
9. An owner of property which is included in the assessment project area and subject to payment of assessment costs may request a review of the technical accuracy of the property measurement factor or the square footage factor. All requests for review must be received in writing by the Chief Engineer prior to the end of the review period as established for the project with adequate notice to the property owner. Any supporting documents to substantiate the request must accompany the written request. OCEA may contact the property owner for purposes of obtaining additional information or to schedule a meeting for purposes of discussing the review. Requests for review may only be based on the following grounds:
Inaccuracy in the calculation of the property measurement factor or square footage factor associated with the property. Proof must presented to OCEA that the dimensions employed by OCEA for purposes of calculating property measurement factor zones or square footage zones are contrary to the dimensions used to describe such property as recorded in the records of the Oldham County Court House, or that any other standard used to calculate the measurements was incorrectly applied.
The Chief Engineer will review the case and report findings to the OCEA Board. The OCEA Board will consider the request and determine whether an adjustment is necessary to provide for reasonable and equitable application of assessment costs. The decision of the OCEA Board will be final.
10. In the event a referendum or vote is taken to determine whether to initiate an assessment project under this policy, all votes shall be reviewed by a member of the Board for authenticity, compliance with voting procedures, and for tabulation, and the results shall be certified by the Board member. Individual ballots shall remain confidential; redacted copies may be provided to the public if the confidentiality of the individual vote can be properly preserved. Petitions received requesting the initiation of an assessment project shall be deemed public records.
11. This policy will apply to all OCEA Assessment Projects not otherwise committed under previous policies.
Date of Adoption: August 12, 2002
Date of Amendment: November 18, 2002