Assessment Progress?

By: John Tramontana
By: John Tramontana

They may be as far as $80,000 apart in negotiations but that's not stopping the East Lansing City Council and Coleman and West Road residents from hitting the bargaining table.

Shawn Roudebush represents the neighbors who are fighting the city to get high assessment fees removed. Some have been charged more than $85,000.

"We're trying to get it down to zero" Roudebush said. "That may be wishful thinking but that's what we're going for. Certainly, if anything, we'd like to get them down."

East Lansing's mayor believes a definitive compromise could be wishful thinking.

"You can't find complete compromise," Mayor Sam Singh said. "Our hope's that we'll be able to mitigate most of the assessment for the people as long as they are living on the property."

But if they move, they'll be charged for the cost of water and sewer pipes. They say it's part of the city's plan to develop property north of the site, while sticking residents with the bill.

"We just cannot afford to pay this," Roudebush said.

The two sides will continue to try to reach common ground, but Roudebush warns they may be forced to sue the city.

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