Dresden Board Discusses City’s Reappraisal Costs; Rezoning Request

BY DAVID FISHER

david@dresdenenterprise.com

DRESDEN (January 4) — Major topics for discussion at Monday night’s Dresden City Board Meeting involved questions regarding a tax reappraisal invoice, a rezoning request to allow for the construction of new rental housing,

Tax Reappraisal

Weakley County Assessor of Property David Tuck appeared before the Dresden Board to discuss misconceptions concerning the city’s reappraisal invoice voiced during their December meeting.

The confusion arose when the Board incorrectly thought the Assessor’s Office would be reappraising properties every year instead of on the usual five-year rotation. However, this is not the case. The Tax Assessor’s Office will continue its reappraisal process every five years.

According to Tuck, the payment from the cities for the reappraisal costs is being divided over a five-year period as an annual payment instead of a lump sum.

The annual payment lessens the burden on the budget with the payment not being made all at one time. This benefits the cities as they are able to budget this amount every year and it benefits the Assessor’s Office by simplifying their record keeping.

City Attorney Beau Pemberton stated cities are required by state law to contribute to the reappraisal costs.

Tuck stated, according to an attorney general’s opinion from 2017, cities are obligated to pay the county up to half of the reappraisal cost within the city limits. However, Tuck noted, a municipality could pay a lesser amount if the county agreed to shoulder a portion or even all of the cost for municipal reappraisals.

Mayor Jeff Washburn stated funds must be appropriated to pay the reappraisal fee, since the city’s budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 was already approved when the city received the invoice. He suggested the funds be taken out of unreserved surplus (fund balance) and placed into the current line-item budget.

According to City Recorder Jennifer Branscum, this amounts to a little over $4,100.

Alderwoman Sandra Klutts made a motion to amend the current general fund budget to allow for the payment of the reappraisal invoice, which passed 6-0, with all members participating (either in-person or via the internet).

A motion by Alderman Gwin Anderson to pay the reappraisal invoice from the County on an annual basis was also approved by unanimous vote.

Municipal Zoning Map

In other business, the Board approved an ordinance amending the City of Dresden’s Municipal Zoning Map, which rezones property located at 145 East Main Street, from B-2 (Central Business) to R-2 (Medium Density Residential), as recommended by the Dresden Municipal/Regional Planning Commission.

According to Stan Hurt, who owns the property, there is a shortage of good housing to rent in Dresden. He stated rezoning would make it possible for him to install two houses on the 19,500 sq. ft. lot. He originally requested the property be rezoned from B-2 (Central Business) to R-1 (Low Density Residential), which would allow for the construction of a single house at that location. This is because a house that previously stood on the property burned and was buried on the east side of the lot, and building codes forbid a residence from being built over a buried structure.

However, since that time, Hurt learned the buried house is not where it would affect the location of either of the two proposed houses. Hurt stated the buried structure is located on the far right corner of the property and buried about 20 feet deep.

Mayor Washburn stated Donny Bunton, Community Planner for the Northwest Tennessee Development District, met with Stan Hurt January 4, 2021, and reported the buried site appears to be well away from the proposed site for the two new houses.

Hurt explained the square footage for the new two-story houses is 960 square feet each, with 480 square feet per floor. He stated the houses would be placed on a slab and finished out.

Hurt stated he would place the first house on the property and then come back and discuss the progress with the Board prior to the second house being placed on the lot.

In response to the board questioning if these would be classified as “Tiny Homes” it was noted anything over 900 square feet is not classified as a “Tiny Home,” and qualifies to be placed on the lot.

A motion by Alderman Anderson to approve an ordinance rezoning 145 E. Main St. to R-2 was approved unanimously on its first reading.

Washburn stated a public hearing will be held prior to the second reading on February 1, 2021.

Budget Amendment

In other Board action, members approved Budget Amendment Resolution 2021-06.

The amendment budgets $2,772.11 in grant funding allocated through a Tennessee Highway Safety Grant, for the City of Dresden’s Police Department, which covers the cost of labor and to purchase equipment.

The resolution also budgets $3,457.58 in Tennessee CARES Act grant funding for the Dresden Police Department.

Stimulus Grant

Mayor Washburn updated the board on activities that have taken place over the last month. He reported the City of Dresden is receiving $94,616 in a one-time non-recurring stimulus grant for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The funds will become available after July 1, 2021.

2021 Committee List

Mayor Washburn presented the 2021 Committee List for approval.

There was some discussion from several of the aldermen wanting to be involved in various boards. Mayor Washburn stated any of the aldermen were welcome to attend any of the meetings of the various committees. He stated City Recorder Jennifer Branscum would notify them of the meeting dates and times.

Gwin Anderson made a motion to approve the 2021 Committee List as presented. The motion died for a lack of a second to the motion. Mayor Washburn stated the committees would be appointed as presented, as he was not required to present them to the Board for their approval.

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

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