How Bad is Your Road—and Are You Willing to Pay Extra to Fix It?

Minnesota legislators are pondering whether to allow cities to impose a “street improvement fee” in a specific “street improvement district” to be paid for by property owners within that district.

“The fee amount must be just and equitable. The ordinance must not be adopted until after public notice is provided and a public hearing is held,” reads House File 1095 authored by Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, and Rep. Steve Elkins, DFL-Bloomington. A municipality would have to first propose and adopt a street improvement plan for the district, complete with estimated costs and timelines. Fees collected for such a street improvement district could be collected for between five and 20 years.

The idea stems from worsening road conditions and an increasing number of cities saying they cannot afford to maintain and repair roads as fast as is needed.