Neenah proposes fee which would do away with road construction assessments

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY)- Neenah could be the next community to do away with special assessments for road construction -- but not in the form of a wheel tax.

Instead, residents and businesses could face a fee based on usage.

With road construction underway right now on Adams Street in Neenah, residents there could be among the last in the city to pay a special assessment to cover the cost under a plan proposed by Mayor Dean Kaufert. .

"So we've come up with what we believe is a fair way here based on impervious area, which clearly is an indication of the level of development, the impact on the transportation system, those who use the transportation system more," said Kaufert.

That "impervious area fee" works by assigning every property a developed area unit.

For businesses, the larger the property, the more units.

Those units are then multiplied by $27 for the yearly fee. As an example, Walmart on Winneconne Ave. at 75 units would pay $2,025 per year.

However, residences, no matter how big, would be assigned just one unit at $18 per year.

Kaufert added, "Because everyone is paying something, everyone's dollar amount that they would owe if and when their street comes up for reconstruction, (that person) will pay less."

Those who've paid for an assessment in the past three years will receive a break on the fee, at least initially.

"When we are evaluating streets for construction, we really don't take demographics into account," Public Works Director Gerry Kaiser said, "and the streets, utilities that need the bulk of the work in the city tend to be in somewhat older areas of the city so it hits those residents harder."

The council is expected to vote on the proposal in mid-October.

If approved, the fees would begin in 2019.

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