SPECIAL ASSESSMENT POLICIES
CITY OF HAWLEY, MINNESOTA
The purpose of this statement of Special Assessment Policies is to set forth the policies and procedures for the determination of benefit and the assessment of cost of the various public improvements which are constructed and installed by the City of Hawley pursuant to law or order of the City Council. These policies shall serve as a guide for this and future City Councils, for Administrative personnel, and as a source of information for all persons concerned with such matters. It is the intent and purpose of these policies to provide for and insure consistent, uniform, fair and equitable treatment, insofar as is practical and possible, of all property owners in regard to the assessment of costs for benefits to property for the various improvements of streets and utilities within the City of Hawley.
- GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICIES
The City Council of the City of Hawley hereby declares that the assessment policies contained herein are the policies that the City of Hawley is dedicated to follow as nearly as possible and practical, and that all improvement costs shall, whenever possible, be assessed against benefited property as set forth in these policy statements, and that any assessable share of cost against properties or lands outside the City limits shall be deferred until such area is annexed to the City and then assessments shall be spread for collection as set forth in these policies or assessed against the property as per a legal agreement.
- SCOPE AND LIMITS
These assessment policies are designed to serve only as a general guide for the City Council in allocating benefits to properties for the purpose of defraying the cost of installing public facilities. The Council reserves the right to vary from these policies if the policies act to create obvious inequities, or where the assignment of benefit to a particular property is difficult because of an extreme and unusual situation, which is unlikely to occur in the future, or if such variance is deemed to be in the best interests of the City of Hawley.
ELIGIBLE COST FOR ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS
The City Council shall determine the total cost of the improvement by adding: the amount of contract cost; the cost of labor and materials furnished by the City if not contained in contract costs; the cost of engineering, legal, fiscal and administrative services provided by City staff or other parties; the cost of acquiring property or right-of-way required by the improvement; interest costs incurred by the City between the time money is borrowed for the improvement and special assessments are levied for collection; and any other costs which in the opinion of the City Council should be included as part of the total project cost.
- STREET PAVING AND CURB AND GUTTER
For first time development, One Hundred Percent (100%) of the cost of street paving and curb and gutter improvements shall be assessed against benefited property.
Local Street reconstruction shall be assessed on the front footage method.
Collector Street reconstruction may be assessed on front footage method, area wide assessment, or ad valorem tax as recommended by the City Engineer and approved by the City Council. The front footage and area wide assessment may be used in combination to provide the most equitable assessment for each property owner. The area wide assessment will be recommended by the City Engineer and approved by the City Council by resolution that fully describes the boundaries of the assessment district.
In the event that the municipality constructs or develops roads in a newly platted area, the Clerk-Treasurer shall keep a record of such expenditures and, when that area is improved by the construction of curb, gutter, and paving, the cost of constructing the original street shall be included in and considered a part of the overall cost of the project and assessed back against the benefited property.
- Lot Definitions
1) Corner Lot: A lot located at a street intersection having both front and side lot footage. The front footage of a residential lot shall be the short side of such property.
2) Double Frontage Lot: A lot with access to two separate non-intersecting or intersecting streets but not a corner lot. The front footage shall be the short side of such property. Double frontage lots may be assessed for any street improvement that it has direct access to.
3) Irregularly Shaped Lot: Those lots abutting curved streets, cul-de-sacs, or other irregularly shaped lots. Irregular or odd shaped lots shall be given an average width. Width may be determined by using the average of the front and rear widths, an average of the other lots in the general area being improved, or a width based on average lot area or depth based on the existing plat (if any).
4) Front Foot: The number of front feet assigned to each property shall be the linear footage abutting (or benefited by) the street improvement, determined by measuring at the front of each property the distance between property lines.
- Non-Residential Front Footage: In commercial, industrial and non-residential areas (use or zone) all improved street frontages shall be deemed to be front footage.
- Rate and Term: The cost per front foot shall be determined by dividing the total assessable front footage into the total project cost. The terms of assessments for street improvements shall be determined by the Council for each separate project. The maximum terms of any assessment shall be 20 years. The Council shall establish such an interest rate to be paid on unpaid balances as may be necessary to meet bond principal and interest payments.
- Standard Residential: Whenever it is necessary for the City to construct a street with a width in excess of 44' or with an axle load bearing capacity of more than 7 tons in a residential district, it shall be the policy of the City of Hawley to assess residential properties only for the costs which would have been incurred had the standard residential street specification been utilized. The City of Hawley shall bear the responsibility for any cost exceeding that normal residential cost, except that the City may assign all or a portion of its excess cost to nonresidential properties benefited by the street, if in the judgment of the City the existing or projected use of that property required the increased expenditure for the additional street construction requirements.
- Reconstruct: If the City Council determines that the condition of a street surface has deteriorated to the point where excessive maintenance cost is incurred by the City, or the benefited residents, pursuant to law or city ordinance, request an improvement, the City Council may order a public hearing on proposed improvements for that street. If the City Council, following the hearing, decides that improvements are necessary, it may elect to completely reconstruct the streets and assess the cost of such improvement against benefited property owners in the manner hereinbefore described.
- Overlay: As an alternate to E, the City may resurface, or "overlay" the street in accordance with the recommendation of the City Engineer. In this event, the City shall assess the cost to the benefited property owners in the manner hereinbefore described.
- One Hundred Percent of the cost for the initial installation for sidewalk facilities shall be assessed against abutting properties.
- Repair and/or Replacement: Fifty Percent (50%) of all costs for replacement in residential areas shall be assessed against the abutting property owners. When it is determined that repairs replacements are to be made, the City Council may order a public hearing on the matter and, following the hearing, order the improvement made. The costs of such improvement shall be assessed to the abutting property on a frontage basis including side lots for corner lots.
- One Hundred Percent (100%) of all costs for sidewalk repair replacement in nonresidential areas shall be assessed against the abutting property owners. When it is determined that repairs replacements are to be made the City Council may order a public hearing on the matter and, following the hearing, order the improvements made. The costs of such improvements shall be assessed as hereinbefore described.
- SANITARY SEWER AND WATERMAIN -TRUNK LINES AND SERVICES
All water and sanitary sewer facilities which represent new service to areas previously without City utility service shall be assessed at the rate of One Hundred Percent (100%) of their cost of installation against benefited property. The assessment shall be levied on a front foot basis. Irregular or odd shaped lots shall be assessed as described under Section V. All side lot frontage of a corner lot on property beyond 150' shall be considered as front footage. The maximum length of any assessment shall be 20 years but the City Council may, at its discretion, designate a shorter term. Interest shall be charged on unpaid special assessments at a rate necessary to meet bond principal and interest payments.
- Sanitary Sewers: In the event that oversized lines, trunk lines, or pumping stations are necessary to provide adequate service and capacity for areas beyond the specific area in question, then, and in this event, the additional cost due to the oversize line, trunk line or pumping station may be assumed by the City. This policy, however, shall not prevent the City from assessing special benefits or creating special sanitary sewer trunk line assessment districts if deemed advisable and proper in any particular situation.
- Watermain: In the event of oversized (larger than 8) or trunk mains which are used for general distribution purposes, up to 100% of the total costs may be assumed as City share. If benefits of an oversize or trunk line is directly, wholly, or partially applicable to a specific user or property the City Council may assess all or a portion of the cost of said mains to the benefited property.
- Outside City: Any project which benefits land outside the corporate limits shall be subject to the same assessment procedure as hereinbefore outlined. The benefit and cost accruing to the land outside the City limits shall be included in the original public hearing. The City shall assume the temporary responsibility for payment of the allocable cost. The City shall maintain a register on that property outside the City limits, and when the property is annexed, the City shall file and certify the assessment to the CountyAuditor for collection. In lieu of such assessments, the City at its discretion, may require a cash payment for the original principal at the time a request for connection to the City's system is made. No physical connection to the City's sanitary sewers or watermain trunk line system will be permitted until a utility agreement, including satisfaction of costs, hook-up fees or assessments, is executed. City and owner may enter into an agreement to assess the property outside the City limits.
- STORM SEWERS
Storm sewer improvements shall be classified to include all storm sewer, storm sewer pumping stations, culverts, ditches, street grading, and any other improvement which will facilitate the drainage.
The City shall establish a storm sewer special assessment districts. The boundaries of the district shall be fully described in a City Council resolution. All properties, including city parks, within this district shall be assessed on a square foot basis. One Hundred Percent (100%) of the cost of any of the above mentioned storm sewer improvements shall be assessed against benefited properties.
- REPLACEMENT OF SANITARY SEWER AND WATERMAIN - TRUNK LINES AND SERVICE LINES
- Reconstruction: When any municipal utility facility must be reconstructed or replaced the cost for line replacement or reconstruction of the lines shall be paid for with system revenues. Repairs to the sewer lines shall be funded from the sewer fund and repairs to water lines shall be funded from water fund, as recommended by the City Engineer and approved by the City Council. The cost for the street repair required by the line replacement shall be assessed against benefiting properties as determined under section V. The cost of installing the new water and sewer service lines to the property can either be assessed or paid for out of the system revenues as recommended by the City Engineer and approved by the City Council.
- City Share: In the case where the City has abutting property or where there is an oversized line, or other unique circumstance the Council may pay all or portions of the reconstruction cost with ad valorem City tax funds, reserves, or such other funds which may be appropriate and available to the City from time to time.