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Columbia County property tax collection highest in state


February 13, 2020

DAYTON–Columbia County Treasurer Carla Rowe reported that Columbia County is one the highest in the state at 99.23% for overall collection of property tax. There are currently 33 parcels that are delinquent by two or more years and only two of those are making regular payments. Once property owners are behind by three years, they can be foreclosed upon, but most of those pay one year of back taxes to avoid this move. However, they remain in a pattern of always being behind. The projected number of foreclosures for 2020 is four. These county residents who don’t make payments through April, will be given notice to pay by the end of May. If no payment is received, the foreclosure process will begin.

Columbia County Public Works Director and County Engineer Charles Eaton presented Resolution 2020-07 to vacate the portion of Eckler Street (County Road 14410) in the section that dead-ends and serves only the adjacent property owner. A public hearing will be scheduled on the proposed abandonment, and will be posted with intent to determine value of the plat, review deed book, pay for right-or-way, tear out and dedicate for public use. The resolution was passed that the Board of Commissioners direct the County Engineer to prepare the required Engineer’s report on the proposed vacation. Additional Resolution 2020-08 was presented and approved for authorization to enter into an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with the City of Dayton.

Eaton then discussed the upcoming hearing to address the Tucannon right-of-way. The plan for testing the surface of the roads and concern over durability was discussed. Eaton assured the commission that the current maintenance methods last about 10 years, but they will consider all options. Chuck Amerein requested the road past Marengo be looked at and considered as part of the plan.

Conditions along county roads are aggravated by trucks that violate overload restrictions. It was suggested getting the sheriff’s department to enforce current codes.

Eaton reported that they have received about a half dozen applications for the open position for maintenance and 4 for head groundskeeper for Parks and Recreation. The applications are currently under review.

The Commissioners also heard the case of Jared and Emily Savage in regards to property owned by them and Jared’s brothers. They requested the interest to be waived on the lien, and for the county to accept a lesser payment for settlement. The commissioners thought that a resolution could be reached if the family met conditions to be determined by the commission including to sell the property within an agreed amount of time. The commission held a closed executive session with Dale Slack, County Prosecutor and Rowe.

The regular meeting for the Columbia County Board of Commissioners was held Monday, February 3, 2020 with Chairman, Chuck Amerein, and Commissioners Michael Talbott and Ryan Rundell.


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