[Adopted 6-14-1976, effective 7-9-1976]
This Article shall be known and may be cited as the "General Assessment Ordinance."
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, partnership, corporation, association or public agency.
- PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT
- Includes but is not limited to the construction or installation of any water mains, drains, road improvements, sidewalks, hydrants, lighting, curbs, gutters and shade trees, the cost of which are to be met in part or in whole by assessment of benefits.
- The Town of Mansfield or any of its officers or agencies serving in an official capacity.
Resolution to construct a public improvement. At any time, a member of the Town Council may introduce at a meeting of said Council a resolution to construct a public improvement, the costs of which are to be met in whole or in part by assessment of benefits. Said resolution shall state the general character and description of the proposed public improvement. Said resolution may also be initiated by a petition of interested property owners or by action of any duly constituted public agency, whether state or local.
Preliminary planning and engineering. The Town Council may at any time authorize preliminary engineering and planning of any proposed public improvement. Such engineering and planning may also include a determination of the estimated cost for the public improvement, and a schedule of estimated assessment of benefits. Prior to proceeding with such preliminary planning and engineering, the Town Council may hold a public hearing at which affected property owners may be heard concerning the proposed public improvement. Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least ten (10) days before the date thereof in a newspaper having a circulation in the town. Such public hearing, if held, shall be in addition to the public hearing required in Subsection C below.
Public hearing. No resolution authorizing the construction of a public improvement to be met in part or in whole by assessment of benefits shall be adopted by the Town Council until a public hearing has been held thereon, at which time persons to be affected thereby shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed public improvement. Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least ten (10) days before the date thereof in a newspaper having a circulation in the town. Prior to conducting a final public hearing on such public improvement, the Town Council shall submit all necessary information regarding the improvement to the Mansfield Planning and Zoning Commission for a report, where such report is required, pursuant to Section 8-24 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Action by Town Council on proposed resolution. Not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days following the public hearing referred to above, the Town Council may approve said resolution. Said resolution may be amended prior to passage to reduce the general layout, character and scope of the proposed public improvement, without further notice, publication or hearing; but said resolution shall not be amended to increase the general layout, character or scope of the proposed improvement.
Power of assessment. At any time after the construction has been commenced on a public improvement, or a portion thereof, the Town Council may apportion and assess the whole or any portion of the costs thereof upon the lands and buildings in the town which, in its judgment, are especially benefited thereby, whether they abut on such public improvement or not, and upon the owners of such lands and buildings, according to such rule as the Town Council adopts, subject to the right of appeal as hereinafter provided.
Public hearing on proposed assessment. No assessment shall be made until after a public hearing of the Town Council at which the owners of the property to be assessed shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed assessment. Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least ten (10) days before the date thereof in a newspaper having a circulation in the town, and a copy of such notice, signed by the Town Clerk, shall be mailed to the owner of any property to be affected thereby at such owner's address as shown in the last completed grand list in the town, or at a later address of which the Town Council may have knowledge. A copy of the proposed assessment shall be on file in the office of the Town Clerk and available for inspection by the public for at least ten (10) days before the date of such hearing. When the Town Council has determined the amount of the assessment to be levied, it shall file a copy thereof in the office of the Town Clerk and, not later than five (5) days after such filing, shall cause the same to be published in a newspaper having a circulation in the town. Such publication shall state the date on which such assessment was filed and that any appeal from such assessment must be taken within thirty (30) days after such filing.
Assessment of benefits concerning sidewalks. No resolution authorizing the construction of a sidewalk, payments for which are to be made in whole or in part from benefit assessments, shall be adopted by the Town Council until said Town Council has made a finding that the public necessity and convenience requires that such sidewalk be constructed. A copy of such finding shall be mailed to, or placed in the hands of, the owner of the property adjacent to which such sidewalk is to be constructed. Any such owner may appeal to the Superior Court of Tolland County within twenty (20) days from the receipt of a copy of such findings as provided by law.
Appeal. Any person aggrieved by any assessment may appeal to the Superior Court for the judicial district of Tolland as provided by law. No such appeal shall stay proceedings for the collection of the particular assessment upon which the appeal is predicated, but the appellant shall be reimbursed for any overpayments made if, as a result of such appeal, his assessment is reduced.
Assessments due and payable; notice. Upon the completion of any public improvement pursuant to this Article, and when said Town Council is ready to give notice thereof by publication that benefits assessed therefore are due and payable, it shall deliver to the Tax Collector of the Town of Mansfield the description of the properties assessed with the names of the owners and the amounts of such assessments in advance of such publication. It shall be the duty of the Tax Collector, acting under the supervision and regulations of the Town Council, to prepare bills for said assessments, to collect the same from each of the owners of property so assessed and to deposit the same to the credit of the Town of Mansfield.
Due date of assessment. Assessments shall be due and payable at such time as is fixed by the Town Council, provided that no assessment shall become due until the work or particular portion thereof for which such assessment was levied has been completed. The Town Council shall give notice of the date when the assessments are due and payable by publication at least twice within the period of fifteen (15) days in a newspaper having a circulation in the town. Such notice shall list the streets and describe the areas within which are located any properties against which such assessments are due. No assessment shall be due and payable earlier than thirty (30) days after the first publication of such notice.
Lien. Any assessment of benefits or any installment thereof not paid within thirty (30) days after the due date shall be delinquent and shall be subject to interest from such due date at the interest rate and in the manner provided by the General Statutes for delinquent property taxes. Each addition of interest shall be collectible as part of such assessment. Whenever any installment of an assessment becomes delinquent, all remaining installments of such assessment shall also become delinquent. Any unpaid assessment and any interest due thereon shall constitute a lien upon the real estate against which the assessment was levied from the date of such levy. Each such lien may be continued, recorded, and released in the manner provided by the General Statutes for continuing, recording and releasing property tax liens. Each such lien shall take precedence over all other liens and encumbrances except taxes and may be foreclosed in the same manner as property tax liens. The Tax Collector of the Town of Mansfield may collect such assessments in accordance with any mandatory provision of the General Statutes for the collection of property taxes, and the town may recover any such assessment in a civil action against any person liable therefor.
Installment payment of assessment. The Town Council may provide for the payment of any assessment in substantially equal annual installments, not exceeding twenty (20), and may provide for interest charges not exceeding the interest rate provided by law for any deferred payments, provided that the last installment of any assessment shall be due not later than one (1) year prior to the date of the last maturity of any bonds or notes issued by the municipality to finance the acquisition or construction of any public improvement or portion thereof in respect to which the assessment was levied, and provided further that in no event shall such interest charges exceed the rate of interest the municipality is obligated to pay on such bonds or notes. Any person may pay any installment for which he is liable at any time prior to the due date thereof, and no interest on any such installment shall be charged beyond the date of such payment. The Town Council shall cause the Town Clerk to record on the land records a certificate, signed by the Tax Collector or Treasurer of the town, describing the property against which such assessments are assessed, and certifying that an installment payment plan is in effect for payment of an assessment of benefits for the installation or construction of a public improvement, in favor of the Town of Mansfield concerning said property.
The provisions of this Article shall be held to be minimum requirements, adopted for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare of the Town of Mansfield, and whenever the requirements of this Article are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or restrictions, such rule, regulation or restriction which imposes the higher standard shall control.