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Jerry Gelao: A bad deal for Wabasha County residents

September 27, 2018

Lake Zumbro property owners in Wabasha County got their pockets picked at the Olmsted-Wabasha Joint Powers Board Assessment Hearing on Sept. 12 as appeals were quashed and assessments for the dredging project were locked and loaded. Now, it’s just a matter of paying your assessment and receiving your special benefit — whether perceived or real.

In recent years a Lake Improvement District (aka taxing district) was re-established to partially fund the dredging project via assessments to Lake Zumbro properties. In its final form, only 10 percent of the total dredging will occur within Wabasha County, resulting in what can at best be described as perceived benefit for most Wabasha County assessees. Contrarily, with 90 percent of the dredging occurring in Olmsted County most parcels will attain real benefit which directly impacts the property.

Why the final assessments to Wabasha lakeshore properties reflect an absence of financial stewardship given the disproportionate scope of work in Wabasha (10 percent) is best left for Wabasha Commissioner Springer to explain, but it sure feels like the Wabasha lakeshore owners are paying for another round of the infamous ObamaPhones.

Under this same guise, could the upstream gang in Olmsted now reciprocate the good deed by assessing themselves for improvements that provide real benefit to Wabasha properties? Foremost are blacktop and communal septic.

Pave me!

Jerry Gelao, Zumbro Falls

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