The long debate in the Village of Kronenwetter about who should pay for repairs to help with flooding in the community appears to be at an end, at least for now.
The village board voted 4-to-2 to go through with a plan to pay 45-percent of the bill with an assessment on the residents affected Tuesday night.
Some residents said the assessment wasn't fair because some are getting assessed where their basement doesn't have any water or ever has, where some people who do have water in their house are getting assessed for less.
The residents in the assessed area, who were coded according to data from an engineering company based on their basement elevation, will pay 45 percent of the final project, and the other 55 percent will be spread out among the entire village.
Some who were assessed were pleading on their knees at the meeting for the board to vote that the project should be paid for by everyone at a flat rate, but that's not going to happen as of now thanks to the 4-2 vote. Also, of the seven members on the board, only six were present. The seventh member's vote was excused.
Geraldine Kowalski, Village of Kronenwetter president, said she feels for the people, but stands by her decision because she thinks it's the best route for the community. She also said her vote for the assessment could not be swayed easily because she doesn't think that everyone should be paying for the project.
"They (those voting against the assessment resolution) could have presented their story, their findings and their proof ahead of time," Kowalski said. "I believe when it came this far, I believe a lot of that has been talked over. This was the final."
Those residents in the green section of the plan will pay around $2,168, those in the orange will pay around $1,803 and those in the grey will pay around $364 during the course of ten years.
Jessica Lewis said she falls under the green section and will be assessed around $2,000. She said her neighbor is in a different color, has water in their basement but was assessed less than her. Lewis said she doesn't and never has had water in her basement, so she questions the company who collected data along with the board.
"They (the board) did not listen to the people at all," Lewis said. "There are people in the community that have spent money to fix their problems (in past years), and they're being assessed where they don't have problems."
Some said the Village of Kronenwetter should pay for the project and no residents should, another argument was that everyone in the village pay a flat rate, and the last angle was that the section assessed should pay.
An attorney was present at the meeting giving the case to the board that there should be no assessment at all and that it should be put on the general tax role.
He said the board will have to prove that those assessed will have a special benefit by paying for the project, and those who don't have water in their basements aren't getting a special benefit by paying for a levy to get rid of water that isn't there to begin with.
After the meeting many of the people assessed met to discuss an appeal as the next step.
Around 246 people in all will be assessed as of Tuesday night's vote.
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