ST. PAUL, Minn. — Dozens of property and business owners seethed when the city of St. Paul handed out $2.3 million in assessments for street improvements on the Green Line light rail construction project.

Still, it came as a surprise this week when someone not only complained but stepped up, refusing to pay a $23,000 assessment for streetscape and lighting improvements — at least for now.

Even more surprising the group that decided to take on the city wasn’t a business or landlord, but rather another unit of local government, namely, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District board. MMCD owns a building on the University Avenue corridor for the 11-mile-long Green Line.

“Any kind of assessment, whether you’re a home owner or a business owner or anybody that owns some property, any time you get assessed for something it tends to raise hackles,” said Mike McLean, communications coordinator for the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District. “People want to make sure they’re charged no more or less than what they owe.”

The government agency’s board reacted like irate taxpayers getting an unexpected $23,000 notice, which, some board members said, they heard about for the first time during Wednesday’s monthly meeting.

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