ALPP Maintenance Assessment
A maintenance assesment is a legal method to fund a conservancy district, as described in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). As outlined in the ORC, these funds are needed to operate, maintain, improve, preserve, and defray the expenses of a conservancy district, and are audited by the Auditor of State to ensure compliance.
In the late 1950's and early 1960's repeated flooding events caused millions of dollars in damages to this valley, which ultimately led to the formation of the Hocking Conservancy District (HCD). The Official Plan of the district was completed and adopted in 1965 to provide flood reduction projects throughout the valley. Though many projects were proposed, only the Athens Local Protection Project (ALPP) was completed. HCD works closely witht he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who designed and built the ALPP, to ensure the project is effective in reducing flooding within the City of Athens.
An investment from the benefited property owners in the form of a maintenance assessment is required to fund the operation of the District. This assessment is levied only upon the property owners who benefit from the ALPP. Many property owners thourhgout the City of Athens and surrounding area believe they pay an assessment to HCD, but only those properties that receive a benefit from the construction of the ALPP are assessed.
The assessment was based on many factors, including property tax values and "Depth of Flooding." Generally speaking, this means the higher degree of protection you receive from the project the higher your assessment. HCD continued to operate on these assessments until 2007 when it became clear that the District would not be able to sustain its operations over the long run. The assessment percentage of the appraised benefits was then adjusted for the first time. However, the District did not ask the Court to consider the difference in the property tax values of 1968 to 2007 levels.
The appraisal of the benefited properties was completed in 1968 with property tax values being the starting point for our assessments. Since property tax values fluctuate over time, the ORC allows for a readjustment of the assessments every six years to ensure the cost to operate the district is distributed in a fair and equitable manner. HCD continues to base the maintenance assessment form the Athens County Auditor property tax values established in the 1960's.