Plans to extend the City of La Crescent's water and sewer lines as well as a proposed 75 unit housing project leave some homeowners feeling left out of the process and facing a major unexpected expense.
A local developer aims to turn land located off County Road 6, also known as the "Racetrack Property," into a residential development area.
According to La Crescent city planning protocol, for new homes to be considered part of the city instead of the township, La Crescent must provide water and sewer service.
Large amounts of clay beneath the surface in the area make commonly used solutions such as wells and septic tanks impossible.
To offer a solution, the City of La Crescent is investigating extending city water and sewer services, causing some residents to be concerned about cost.
The project's developer says that area taxpayers will not see an increase because of the project.
"It's going to be fairly self-sufficient there isn't really going to be anything coming from the tax-payer, outside of the development, " Developer Mike Sexauer continues, "Infrastructure will all be paid for either privately or through assessments on those properties."
Those living along County Road 6 in the Township of La Crescent will face upwards of $20,000 in charges per household as their homes will become part of the city they will bear a portion of the cost to install city water and sewer lines.
"I didn't want to be in the city," La Crescent Township resident Kathy Miller explains.
The impact the plan would have on residents combined with the lack of involvement from the City of La Crescent make residents like Miller feel left out of the decision-making process.
"I didn't understand why we didn't get to vote to decide if we want to be annexed or not. I am getting the impression that it's not our choice, and that's not why I bought the house where I did," Miller includes.
Miller continues to describe their confusion regarding who pays for the plan, asking why only the 47 affected homes in the township would pay the fee while existing residents of the city would not have to contribute.
The project is not final, there is only a preliminary development agreement in place with a final proposal yet to be submitted and approved by the La Crescent City Council.