In 1997, the City of Hopkins created a Housing Improvement Area for the Westbrooke Patio Homes and financed a $2.3 million improvement project. This project, considered Phase I of a two-phase capitol improvement project, involved redesigning and replacing the roofs, insulating and constructing draft stops in the attics.
In November 1998, the Westbrooke Patio Homes association members voted on the phase II improvement program and in December submitted the required petitions to hold a public hearing regarding setting fees for the project. Petitions were signed by more than 37 percent of the owners.
The City of Hopkins held the necessary public hearings and approved the housing improvement area and fees. Owners were then given the opportunity to veto the imposition of the fees. This did not happen and the phase II fees went into effect on April 2, 1999.
The improvements financed through Housing Improvement Area No. 2 - Phase II include the following:
Owners were given from April 5, 1999 to July 3, 1999 to prepay a portion (25% minimum) or the entire $9,954 fee. If an owner chose not to prepay the entire fee, payment of the fee must then be made twice annually for the 20-year term of the district. The payment is made through a fee on an owner's property tax statement (including interest and associated financing costs) beginning with property taxes payable in 2000. The interest rate is 7.56%.
If the fee is not prepaid, the balance cannot be paid off at any time during the 20-year term of the district. If the property is sold, the new owner must assume the fee as part of the property taxes. This fee is not a special assessment.