Property values, changes to recreation area highlight Silver Bay city council meetingProperty value and safety in playgrounds were on Silver Bay City Councilors’ minds Monday night.
Property value and safety in playgrounds were on Silver Bay City Councilors’ minds Monday night.
Matt Miller from the Lake County Assessor’s Office spoke at the meeting. Miller said his office had looked at nearly 450 residential properties in Silver Bay.
“We’re moving over to a new assessment system that takes into account more factors for calculating value,” Miller told the Council. He said the plan was for all of the buildings in the old system to be moved over to the new computer system within the next couple of years.
“So this coming summer I’ll be looking at probably another 450 or 500 houses in Silver Bay because we’re trying to get moved over to that system as quickly as we can. We’re hoping that it’s a little bit more accurate of an assessment system and not as general as the old system used to be,” Miller said. “It takes into account a lot more factors for calculating values than the old system did.”
Miller said there was a lot of value swings in portions of Silver Bay this year.
“We calculate an effective age built on the houses now. Most of the houses in the first three divisions were built in the same three or four years of each other but now because of upgrades in the roofs and new siding and new windows we’re able to more accurately calculate how much depreciation there’s actually been to that building. A lot of houses in Silver Bay moved up and down on that depreciation schedule and a lot of value shifting happened because of that,” he said.
Miller said he had actually expected more business in Silver Bay because of that.
“I’ve only had four or five phone calls down at the office so far,” he said. “It’s been pretty light as far as public reaction to it.”
Miller reminded the Council that the review period remains open and he can make changes to the official record until June 2. Changes may be made after that but must be taken before the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
Miller also explained that there had been a change in the homestead calculation.
“It’s not a direct credit to your taxes but now it’s a certain amount of value is excluded from being taxed. That did do a lot of tax shifting within the different jurisdictions and that really hit Silver Bay hard,” he said. “When the state homestead credit was taken away, that really nailed Silver Bay — probably the worst of any other jurisdiction in Lake County.”
Changes for safety
Park and recreation board member Mike Guzzo brought potential plans to make areas around the Mary Mac playground and ball field safer to the Council’s attention for input.
“What we’re trying to do is create a safe area at the Mary Mac playground and ball field. Ever since the loading dock area was put in there, I’ve lived with the fear that some child will get run over in town,” said Guzzo. “It’s hard to change people’s minds on how to get to the playground.”
Guzzo said the loading dock road would stay the same. He said the park and recreation board wants to push the ball field a little bit away from that road.
“The only thing we think we can do to make that safe is that number five right by the corner of the school building, we think a couple of safety posts need to go there and some signage,” he said.
“There’s been a push to separate the two pieces of property and the ball field with the natural left field fence all the way down past the playground—I think it will separate it and keep people out,” Guzzo said about the play area and the industrial area. He added that he would like to create a new access road with parking where number seven is. He said the principal and the superintendent are on board with moving faculty parking to behind the bus garage. Guzzo also talked about taking area nine and bring some fill in to fill that area in and making it level with the playground.
The Council discussed how high the fence should be and agreed that six feet was substantial enough. Guzzo mentioned that North Shore Mining made a $10,000 donation and the ball field and playground had been made into a Lake County New Project request, which received a $9,000. Guzzo said the focus would be on the Mary Mac this year.