Williams initiates proceedings for annual landscape and lighting assessment

The City of Williams adopted a resolution initiating assessment proceedings, declaring its intent to levy assessments for Landscape and Lighting Assessment District No. 97-1, and setting a public hearing date for that district – which covers the Valley Ranch Subdivision of the city.

The public meeting will be held during the Williams City Council’s meeting in August.

City Finance Director Rex Greenbaum explained that the city is required to adopt a resolution annually in order to initiate the appropriate proceedings to levy those assessments, and that the city would only be adjusting the assessment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase.

“The language in the original engineer’s report states that for each fiscal year, following ’98-’99, the per-parcel assessment rate for the assessment zone shall be adjusted by the percentage change in the CPI for the State of California, as reported on the last day of that annual period by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Greenbaum said. “This statement makes the annual CPI adjustment mandatory, and so this is setting a public hearing… which would take place next month.”

The proposed increase, based on change to the CPI, amounted to 2.61 percent. That amounts to a monetary increase of $4.48, bringing the total assessment amount for residents within the assessment area from $171.38 to $175.86.

Councilmember Kent Boes questioned why the city was using the San Francisco/Bay Area CPI to determine the increase in assessment rates, rather than the State of California’s CPI.

“One of my big arguments against Recology and their CPI against us was the fact that they were using San Francisco/Bay Area. If you used the whole State of California, it’s about a whole percent less… Why are we unfairly using the San Francisco/Oakland CPI for our citizens here?” Boes asked. “Should we use a lower CPI, considering the Consumer Price Index doesn’t raise as heavily as it does there?”

Greenbaum answered that the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose CPI was the one designated in the engineer’s report when it was completed, and that a new – and potentially costly — engineer’s report would have to be done to change it.

“I will make a comment that, with what the housing prices have done in the last couple of years, it’s gone up pretty high. There’s other years when our housing prices go up, following it. If you look at it over a 50-year period, it tends to level out,” Greenbaum said. “There will be other periods where ours can go up a little bit and their prices level out.”<

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net