The anticipated battle between the Horseshoe Bend City Council and the city's MRID Commission over assessment increases did not materialize at the Oct. 17 city council meeting.
Mayor Bob Spear asked the council to table a proposed ordinance that would rescind MRID property assessment increases the city approved in December 2003.
"I'm sorry all of you people came here and we didn't get to hear from you," Spear said to the standing room only crowd at City Hall.
The council tabled the ordinance by unanimous vote.
Recorder/treasurer Sally Pohl said neither the city nor the MRID has the power to raise the assessments.
Spear said he asked the council to table the ordinance until attorney Roy Owen finishes a report that focuses on the city's and the MRID's legal options to raise assessments.
He said Owen's report should be completed by Oct. 24.
The Horseshoe Bend MRID was formed in 1980 to regulate recreation sites in the city such as the golf courses, lakes and city pools.
Most of the MRID's budget comes from property assessments within the city. The property assessment increase in 2003 was the first assessment increase since the MRID's inception, according to MRID commissioners.
MRID Commissioner Lee Mears said without an additional increase in property assessments the MRID could fold.
Two other ordinances that would repeal assessment increases for CSID and MSID from last year were also tabled.
Alderman George Williamson said he didn't know why the last two ordinances couldn't be passed.
"MRID is the critical one. I don't see how the other two would be affected either way," Williamson said.
Spear said he agreed with Williamson but thought it would be easier to present all three ordinances to the county at once to change the property tax rolls.
Spear said all three will have to be approved at the Nov. 21 city council meeting so the city can notify the county by Dec. 1.
The council voted unanimously to table the other two ordinances.
One councilman who did not cast a vote was Alderman Daniel Grover who was absent from the meeting.
Spear said Grover has moved out of the city and the council may appoint a replacement for him next month.
Grover's phone number isn't listed and he was not available for comment.
Higher electricity and fuel costs may force the city to raise water rates.
The council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that would raise city rates starting in January 2006.
Spear said the city's electric bill increased by $1,300 in September and fuel prices have skyrocketed.
Pohl said the ordinance will increase the base rate by $1.50. For every 1,000 of gallons of water used there will be a slight increase, she said.
The expected average increase for Horseshoe Bend residents will be $2 to $3 per month, Pohl said.
"There are those who water during the summer whose bills might be higher than that," Pohl said.