The WSA may levy benefit assessments against properties to recover proportionate shares of the cost of any part of the sewerage system in accordance with Sections 7-249 through 7-253 of the CGS. In the event buildings or structures are constructed or expanded after the initial assessment hereunder, the WSA may assess benefits against the property as if said buildings or structures had existed at the time of the initial assessment and may elect to assign such portion of said funds as represent an accrued assessment from the initial assessment date for the acquisition or construction of the sewerage system. The sum of initial and subsequent assessments shall not exceed the special benefit accruing to the property. No lien securing payment shall be filed until the property is assessed.
All improved single-family residential properties within the initial sewer service area shall be assessed at $9,900. New assessments shall be subject to escalation based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI data for the New York and Northeast Regions using April 1998 as the base.
All properties other than single-family residential properties within a sewer service area shall be assessed at 90% of the appraised special benefit to each respective property. The WSA shall engage the services of a certified real estate appraiser to determine the special benefit based on, but not limited to, the difference in market value of the property immediately before and after the availability of sewer service. The appraiser may consider the costs of installing and maintaining an on-site sewage disposal system and the income of comparable properties.
Pursuant to CGS §§ 7-252 and 7-253, the due date of the original assessments shall be August 15, 1998, and shall be paid in 20 equal annual installments due on the same day each year thereafter, unless the property owner at any time elects to pay in full. Assessments other than the original assessments shall be paid in full before a certificate of occupancy is received unless other terms are agreed to by the WSA.
No assessment shall be made until after a public hearing before the WSA, at which the owner of the property to be assessed shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed assessment. Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least 10 days before the date of such hearing. When the WSA has determined the amount of the assessment to be levied, it shall file a copy thereof in the office of the Town Clerk and, not later than five days after such filing, shall cause the same to be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town, and it shall mail a copy of such assessment to the owner of any property to be affected thereby at such owner's address as shown in the last-completed grand list of the Town or at any later address of which the Town may have knowledge. Such publication shall state the date on which such assessment was filed and that any appeals from such assessment must be taken within 21 days after such filing. Any person aggrieved by any assessment may appeal to the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Danbury, at Danbury, which appeal shall be brought in strict conformance and in accordance with CGS § 7-250.
If any assessment is not valid or enforceable for any reason, a new assessment may be made. If any assessment is made which is not sufficient to cover the entire cost of the work to be paid for by such assessment, a supplementary assessment may be levied against those properties previously assessed to the end that a sum sufficient to pay the cost of such work may be obtained, provided that no such supplementary assessment, together with the original assessment, shall exceed the value of the special benefit to accrue to the property against which the benefit is assessed.
Benefits shall not be assessed against property zoned for single-family residences or property classified as farmland, forestland or open space land unless said property has been constructed upon or has been approved for construction, expansion or development, but the WSA shall cause the Tax Collector on its behalf to place a caveat on the land records as to all land for which an assessment of benefits has been deferred.
Any assessment of benefits, or any installment thereof, not paid within 30 days after the due date shall be delinquent and shall be subject to interest from such due date at the interest rate and in the manner provided by Town Code § 195-10 and by the CGS for delinquent property taxes. Each addition of interest shall be collectible as a part of such assessment.
Any unpaid assessment and any interest due thereon shall constitute a lien upon the real estate against which the assessment was levied from the date of such levy. Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided by the CGS for continuing, recording and releasing property tax liens. Each such lien shall take precedence over all other liens and encumbrances except taxes and may be foreclosed in the same manner as property tax liens. The Town may collect such assessments in accordance with any mandatory provision of the CGS for the collection of property taxes, and the municipality may recover any such assessment in a civil action against any person liable therefor.
Any residential property owner who is eligible for tax relief as provided by Town Code §§ 195-9 and 208-2 may apply to the WSA to pay only the annual interest charge of the benefit assessment levied by the Town. The outstanding balance of principal deferred shall become due upon any transfer of title of the property subject to such assessment or upon death of the property owner. The application shall be subject to annual review by the WSA.