Special Assessment Commission
The Special Assessment Commission is appointed by the Fargo City Commission in order to oversee the special assessment process. As mandated by the North Dakota State Legislature, it consists of three members and operates under the provisions set forth in Section 40-23.01 of the North Dakota Century Code.
Its obligation is to assess, as fair and equally as possible, the costs of various improvement projects within a defined assessment area determined by the City Commission. In other words, the commission proportions the cost of projects by determining the amount of benefit to each property in a given improvement district.
When a property owner files a protest over a new special assessment, the Special Assessment Commission reviews the project on location and reviews the benefit received by the property. Commissioners then hold a hearing to allow residents of the improvement district a chance to voice their concerns regarding the amount of benefit assigned to their property. Modifications can be made if the special assessment seems to be in error. If the hearing does not provide satisfactory solutions, the protests can be brought before the Fargo City Commission.
North Dakota Century Code Chapter 40-23 deals with assessment of benefits. 40-23-01 provides for appointment of members to the Special Assessment Commission and requires that members be residents of the City. 40-23-02 provides that appointments made by the Mayor are subject to the confirmation of the governing body. It also states “each member of the Commission shall receive such suitable compensation for his services while actually engaged in the duties of the commission as determined by the governing body.”
Article 3-10 of the Fargo Municipal Code creates a Special Assessment Commission, provides for terms of members and states the Commission shall have such powers and perform such duties as provided by State Law.
On June 6, 2005, Mayor Furness suggested creation of an “alternate” to provide a “training” position, thus allowing orientation of the prospective appointee prior to a vacancy occurring.