HIBBING — Residents looking for clarification on special assessments related to unpaid service fees will have a new way to communicate with city officials this fall in Hibbing.

The city council, during the Oct. 6 regular meeting, unanimously approved a public hearing for 5 p.m. Nov. 17 on the suggestion by City Attorney Andy Borland, to allow for residents to communicate concerns with the city should they find themselves facing assessments.

Borland said the hearing will not only give residents due process but will also give city officials an opportunity to defend any assessments.

“This is an issue I’ve kind of fought with or looked at over the course of time, to make sure we are giving the public the due process they deserve before assessing properties, this is an opportunity to do that,” Borland said. “We haven’t normally done this in the past so this is a little bit unique and new this year.”

Borland added that a notice for the hearing will be sent out with any assessments. The Hibbing Public Utilities is still discussing any possible unpaid service fee assessments this year and how they will be dealt with, according to Borland.

Before a unanimous vote in favor of the hearing, Mayor Rick Cannata said he would like to see someone from the PUC at the hearing to answer questions residents may have.

Borland also reminded the council that “If (residents) are going to be assessed against the property and someone is challenging those assessments, those outstanding accounts, the PUC cannot access, they can only submit to the city, so it is ultimately the council’s determination whether or not they assess the property,” he said.

He said that hearing notices would be sent out with assessment notices.

The council also set Nov. 17 as the date for a public hearing on sidewalk assessments following the special assessments hearing.

In other business the council:

• Approved a quote from Motorola Solutions for the purchase of four body cameras (for the police department) and the accessories needed to operate them in the amount of $5,000.

• Approved a change order to Bougalis Construction in the amount of $4,500 for the North Hibbing Disc Golf Stairway Project.

• Approved a quote from Ziegler for grader cutting edges in the amount of $25,704.76.

• Set the 2021 Fall Yard Waste Clean-Up dates as Oct. 25 through Nov. 5.

• Approved the installation of stop signs on 3rd Avenue East at the 39th Street intersection.

• Approved a number of residents for positions on the Human Rights Commission and on Heritage Preservation.

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