Rescind Civic funding? At least one city council member says yes.
As Rochester’s Outside Oversight Committee plans to discuss finances at the Rochester Civic Theatre on Tuesday, one City Council member voiced support for rescinding funding for the nonprofit organization.
Shaun Palmer suggested the idea at the end of the regular council meeting Monday night. The oversight committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday to examine how city funding is being used by the Civic Theatre and look at the overall financial health of the organization.
Randy Staver said the suggestion was premature before the Tuesday meeting and without a formal motion.
In formal business Monday, the council approved adjusted assessments to property owners for a planned North Broadway Avenue reconstruction project.
The assessments are based on appraisals of the potential benefit property owners would see from the reconstruction project, which extends from Civic Center Drive to 14th Street.
However, property owners representing about 30% of the $1.75 million in assessments toward the project can still appeal the assessment in Minnesota District Court.
Michelle Hill, owner of a 20-unit apartment building at 820 N. Broadway, said the assessment makes it difficult to keep the building’s apartments at an affordable rent of $550 to $650 per month.
"You are directly and negatively contributing to the current affordable housing shortage," Hill told council members at the meeting.
Samaritan Bethany’s nursing home complex, west of Broadway at 24 8th St. NW, saw the biggest jump, from $28,303 proposed in April to $218,972.
"I hope you take into account I’m trying to take care of elderly people," Susan Knutson, Samaritan Bethany mission leader and CEO, told the council Monday night.
In a letter to the city, Knutson said Samaritan Bethany plans to appeal the assessment to district court. Property owners have 30 days to file an appeal in court.
The adjusted assessments were estimated by Hosch Appraisal and Consulting based on their assessment of the potential benefits to property owners.
Previous assessments were based on how much property abutted North Broadway Avenue.
Councilman Michael Wojcik suggested to Hill that she apply for affordable housing tax credits with the county.