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Town Board: Birchmont Drive properties will be reassessed

The Northern Town Board voted unanimously Monday to order a reassessment of the properties whose owners appealed the 2008 assessments of the Birchmont Drive road reconstruction.

The Town Board also ordered that the 72 parcels undergo appraisals.

A judge issued summary judgment on Sept. 1 in favor of the plaintiffs who appealed their assessments in the Birchmont Drive reconstruction project.

The ruling, according to the attorney representing the township, determined that there was not enough documentation to show there was an increase in property value equal to the amount of the assessments.

The assessment to properties that received all three improvements was $20,315, according to court documents filed in the case. Those that received road and sewer improvements were assessed $13,990. Assessments did vary, however, based on the number of vacant lots and other factors.

The Birchmont Drive project was complicated by the relationship between Northern Township and the city of Bemidji.

Because the Birchmont Drive project area is within the ring of properties to be annexed in 2010, the city was considered the governmental agency in charge of awarding bids - but Northern Township was responsible for approving the project and assessments.