Port LaBelle Property Owners Face 15 Years Of Extra Costs
LABELLE, FL. -- Property owners in Port LaBelle's Banyan Village are receiving letters in the mail this week notifying them of a special assessment to cover $1,067,050 in extra costs incurred by Hendry county for cost overruns and miscalculations in costs of construction of water lines in the county's largest vacant lot subdivision, located a few miles east of LaBelle.
The extra costs will be billed to lot owners through a municipal service benefit unit (MSBU) being created to add the fees to tax bills for the next 15 years.
In 2005, the County Commissioners approved a resolution to bill each lot owner $1640 to install water lines to each of thousands of vacant lots, for which owners are now paying on their tax bills. The construction was finished several years ago, however the actual construction costs exceeded the estimated costs by over a million dollars, or about 18% more than planned, says the county.
The Hendry county commission will vote on the proposed assessments of $43.87 yearly for 15 years, added to property tax bills starting in November, at it's meeting at the LaBelle courthouse August 24 at 5 p.m. The county is estimating a financing cost of about 12 percent, and says each owner may also be liable to pay an additional amount to pay back the financing costs as well unless the lot owner pays the $298.81 assessment in full the first year.
Banyan Village has thousands of empty lots, and only one home, never occupied. No water is being used in the huge subdivision. Observers now wonder why in a down economy where no homes may be expected to be built in Banyan Village in the near future, lot owners should start paying even more money for water lines, in addition to the previous $1640 water line assessments of 2005.