County board to discuss re-assessment process tonight

PAXTON — The Ford County Board will meet in special session at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, to address concerns with recent property reassessments in the northern towns of the county.

On the meeting’s agenda is the opportunity for Supervisor of Assessments Patricia Langland to review the process used for the reassessments.

Also listed on the agenda is an item where the board will discuss bringing in someone from state government to analyze the process Langland and local assessors used. According to the agenda, the board will meet in executive session to discuss personnel. Following that, the board will field comments from the floor.

Earlier this month the board heard complaints from unhappy taxpayers in the northern part of the county. Langland told the board she and the local assessors recently reassessed property in the eight towns in the northern part of the county because it had not been done for so long.

Resident Larry David told the board, “People can’t afford to live here.”

Langland said she and the assessors came up with nine categories of houses based on condition, style and age.

“We physically looked at each house,” she said. “We came up with a cost per square foot (based on current assessments) based on total square footage. We ranked them high to low and then took the median value of all houses in that category.

“Assessments aren’t based on what a property sells for,” said Langland. “Mass appraisal (assessment) is not the same as individual assessment.”

Also on Monday’s agenda, Matt Rock, zoning enforcement officer, will update the board on wind farms. In October the board voted to place a moratorium on granting any future wind farm permits until the county’s permitting ordinance is reviewed. The county is under a 120-working day moratorium on issuing any new special-use permits for wind farms.

Apex Clean Energy has already spent $2.5 million developing the Ford Ridge Wind Farm, a 125-megawatt wind farm proposed for western Ford County in the Gibson City and Sibley area. Erin Baker, a senior development manager for the company, told the board that her company hopes to see “regulatory certainty.”

“We want to continue under the same conditions that brought us here,” she said.

Baker said the company is doing preconstruction surveying and hopes to break ground in spring 2019.

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County

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