GRAND CHUTE, Wisc. – A group of Grand Chute residents calling themselves the “Doomed Dozen on Elsner Road” have filed a civil suit against the Town.
Paperwork filed on April 26th in Outagamie County Circuit Court names the dozen as plaintiffs in a case against the Town of Grand Chute.
The small group of residents is being asked to pay a total of over $700,000 toward the cost of the Elsner Road urbanization project.
The town of Grand Chute is asking some of its residents to fork over thousands of dollars, in some cases hundreds of thousands, in assessments for what they call an urbanization project.
While most residents agree Elsner Road needs to be fixed, they say the money they’re being asked to pay is just too much.
After hearing from the residents of Elsner Road Grand Chute officials aren’t reassessing their assessments.
“In terms of changing our assessment policy, no, I don’t foresee that,” says Grand Chute town chairman Dave Schowalter.
Some say the cost of reconstructing the road is too high of a price to pay.
“I have two homes on Elsner Road and a total between the two is $46,000,” says resident Mark Zitzelsberger.
Homeowners on Elsner say there seems to be an imbalance of who is paying what.
“Every load of dirt that came in from that subdivision or for of them (sic) homes came down Elsner Road. Every load of concrete and blacktop, building material all came down Elsner Road which affected the road,” says Zitzelsberger. “Now they’re asking us the older homes on the north side of the road to pay for the new road when the people on the south side have caused a problem and they’re not being assessed anything.”
Instead of using property assessments many people suggested a town wheel tax.
“There’s only 1000 cars in the town. That’s $160,000,” says Schowalter. “Assessments cost millions of dollars.”
An Elsner Road business owner told Local 5 he’s being asked to pay more than $346,000.
The town says commercial properties are taxed at a 100 percent rate.
“Roads have to be built and someone has to pay for them the way we do it is not popular all the time,” says Schowalter. “But I’ve also noticed that when we’ve urbanized neighborhoods and it’s all done they say how beautiful they are.”
But a beautification project is the last thing these residents are worried about.
Until everyone is assessed equally they won’t be happy.
“I’m more than happy to pay my fair share as long as it’s fair,” says Zitzelsberger. “That’s the big thing is as long as it’s fair.”
Grand Chute officials did not answer or address any of the attendees’ questions or remarks Wednesday, but they will instead answer those questions on their website within the next week.