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Local News

Brooktrails property owners to vote on roads assessment

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Brooktrails Community Services District

Property owners in the Sherwood Corridor will receive a special ballot at the end of next week, asking them to decide if they want to pay an assessment to maintain two emergency access routes on the north and south ends of the community.

The plan to raise money to keep 4.3 miles of FirCo Road and Willits Creek Trail in decent shape for fire engines has been in the works for five and a half years. The roads are private and unpaved. Advocates have had to wrangle MOU’s, or memorandums of understanding, with property owners on adjacent parcels, to negotiate easements to the access roads. The agreement is that they would only be used in case of emergency, most likely fire.

In order to accommodate large fire engines, the two roads need an estimated $120,000 worth of work over the next ten years, mostly on culverts and gates. The proposed assessment, which would be a line item on the tax bill, would be $30.88 for each developed parcel per year. Undeveloped parcels would be assessed one dollar and 39 cents per year. Eligible voters are in Brooktrails, Sylvandale, Spring Creek and the Gates.

The work being paid for would be performed by the county’s Department of Transportation and overseen by the Board of Supervisors. The board could grant a holiday, if there’s a year when no work needs to be done. The assessment sunsets after 20 years, when voters can decide if they want to continue it. The amount is connected to the Consumer Price Index, so it will rise with the buying power of the dollar.

The assessment needs a simple majority to pass, and each parcel gets a vote, so some property owners will have a chance to cast multiple votes. The ballots must be cast by the end of a hearing on July 23 in order to be counted.

There are about 6,500 parcels in the proposed Sherwood Corridor Special Benefit Assessment area, the majority of them undeveloped. Approximately 1,600 of the parcels are developed. The votes are weighted, so that a developed parcel vote is 22.22 times that of an undeveloped parcel. You can find more information on the Mendocino County economic development webpage.

Local News
Sarah Reith came to Mendocino County in 2008 and worked as a reporter and freelancer, joining KZYX as a community news reporter in 2017. She became the KZYX News Director in March, 2023.