LOWVILLE The city of Rome is challenging the assessment on its reservoir in southern Lewis County in the wake of a 57 percent increase.
The city, in a state Supreme Court lawsuit filed Tuesday in the county clerks office by Romes attorney, Timothy A. Benedict, is seeking a reduction on its Boyd Dam and Tagasoke Reservoir property in the town of Lewis from $18 million to $5.71 million; that would be less than one-third of the assessed value on the 725.4-acre parcel.
However, the property was valued at $11,450,300 in 2010 and 2011, then raised to $18 million in this years tax rolls.
The $6.55 million increase was based on a town-commissioned independent appraisal from a firm specializing in such valuations, said Brian F. Klossner, the towns assessor.
We just felt it was needed at this time, Mr. Klossner said, noting the last such appraisal was done in the mid-1990s.
The assessor said he met with Rome officials to explain the rationale for the hike but wasnt surprised they chose to challenge it.
Tagasoke Reservoir, between Osceola and Swancott Mill roads near the Lewis and Oneida counties border along the east branch of Fish Creek, helps regulate the water supply for the municipal system in Rome, about 15 miles to the south in Oneida County.
Water from the 1.4 billion-gallon impoundment flows about eight miles downstream to Kessinger Dam, where it is diverted into a mile-long rock tunnel, then a concrete pipe that takes it to the citys filtration plant, according to a drinking water quality report.
The lawsuit also seeks an assessment reduction for a nearby 26.9-acre parcel off Osceola Road from $60,800 to $26,900. The assessed value on that parcel has been unchanged since 2009, according to county land records.
The city of Rome paid about $175,000 in taxes on the parcels to the town and Lewis County in January, according to records in the county treasurers office. It also pays taxes to the Adirondack Central School District.
Rome previously challenged its assessment on the property in 1996 but was able to reach an out-of-court settlement with the town about a year later.
Several other assessment challenges have been filed recently in the Lewis County clerks office, including one that already has been settled:
■ Adirondack International Speedway, as it did last year, requested a reduction from $572,100 to $10,000 on its 136-acre facility and from $61,500 to $4,000 on its former 14.5-acre camping park, both on Artz Road in the town of New Bremen. However, the filing by Latham attorney Patrick L. Seely Jr. apparently was a formality, as a settlement was reached in June but has not yet been approved by the court.
Under the agreement, the parcels combined assessment is to drop from $672,100 to $572,100 and remain at that level through 2015, even if the track reopens.
The speedway had been assessed at $1.3 million but its value was reduced after its closure in 2009.
■ WGS Copenhagen Housing is seeking a reduction from $3.3 million to $650,000 from the town of Denmark on its former Section 801 Army housing complex on Cataract Street in Copenhagen. A similar challenge was filed last year.
■ Verizon New York is seeking a reduction from $102,933 to $69,420 on its poles, wires and cables in the town of Croghan.
■ Andrew Hammond is seeking a reduction from $69,500 to $44,000 on a seasonal residence on Zecher Road in the town of Denmark.
■ Ronald and William Furr are seeking a reduction from $80,900 to $70,000 on a seasonal camp on Stony Lake Truck Road in the town of Watson.