A town hall meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 15 to talk about the property taxes that are being levied by the Sauk River Watershed District Board.

Three local legislators will host the meeting – Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, and Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck.

The three representatives released the following statement regarding the meeting:

“We’ve heard from many constituents upset about the taxes levied by the Sauk River Watershed District Board, and we want to provide a venue to hear ideas from constituents on how to move forward. We hope to bring reasonable solutions to the Legislature that everyone can support. The people deserve a say in how they are taxed.”

The meeting will take place at the Osakis Community Center on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

At a 2018 meeting, the watershed board voted to assess the clean-out of the Judicial Ditch 2 sediment pond, along with future maintenance and inspection costs, to the benefiting property owners, a $650,000 expense.

Assessments vary widely, depending on the value of the property. The city estimated that the assessment on an average home in Osakis would be about $400 to $500.

The watershed board is also building a new $1.9 million office and is assessing those within the district those costs. Property owners with a house valued at $250,000 will pay an estimated $3.99 per year for 17 years toward the project, according to an example provided by the watershed district.

The watershed district has been operating out of its current Sauk Centre location since 1994. It’s grown from three employees who supervised the management of two drainage systems to having six different departments, a core staff of seven, summer interns, three vehicles, watercraft and other equipment that is stored off-site.