George Sansoucy has come up for three council meetings in a row now, and with each mention the cost to the city looks like its climbing higher. Tonight it was about negotiating a payment in lieu of taxes with Laidlaw and Clean Power Development; last time it was because his assessing contract cost had gone up. The state offers the same service for free, but unfortunately it results in lower tax revenues. But now it’s starting to look like the cost of collecting the taxes is going to have a significant impact on the budget.
Originally the budget line item for utility assessment was $16,000. Now it looks like it will be $42,000. The previous year was $16,000, but that number doesn’t reflect the true cost of his services.
Over the last three years the city paid Mr. Sansoucy $186,145, according to the city manager’s office. And none of those years was a full revaluation year, which the city manager said was in the range of $100,000. That $186,145 is $95,000 for FY2008, $41,255 for FY2009, and $49,890 for FY2010. It includes the cost of Mr. Sansoucy defending his numbers in court, I was told today, so it is more than just the utility assessment. In FY2009, according to this year’s proposed budget, the actual expenditure for utility assessment was zero.
I’m looking further into what this service costs the city, going back to the last full utility revaluation. It’s one of those stories that require a little more digging, but hopefully in the end they bear a bit more fruit. Sometimes these are the most fun.