The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a group of Indianola residents have to pay for paving a street to a new elementary school. The city of Indianola paved a gravel road and put in sidewalks in an area on the west side of the city after the school was built there. The city then assessed the homeowners in the area nearly $361,000 as part of the cost of the paving, and $41,000 for the sidewalks.
The individual assessments ranged from around $12,000 to just over $20,000. The homeowners appealed the assessment saying they had wanted to live in a rural area and did not ask to have the street paved.
And they say the formula used by the city to determine the benefit they gained from the paving was too high. The district court agreed the landowners, but the Iowa Supreme Court reversed that ruling. The high court said the benefits from the paving for the residents are numerous despite their claim they’ve been harmed by the paving.
The court said it appears heart of the complaint of the residents comes not from the paving of the road, but from the location of the school in the area, which increased traffic and is causing urban growth in the rural area. The court did uphold a ruling by the lower court that the charge for the installation of sidewalks should be reduced.