City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Special Assessment Process

The following is a summary of the procedure for special assessments:

Initiation of proceedings.  The proceedings may be initiated by the Council or by a petition of affected property owner.

Preparation of a feasibility report on the improvement.  The city engineer must prepare a report on the proposed improvement, and whether it is necessary, cost-effective, and feasible.

Notice of the public hearing on the improvement.  A public hearing must be held on the proposed improvement.  The city must publish notice of the public hearing to consider the proposed improvement.  The city must also mail notice to each property owner in the proposed assessment area at least 10 days prior to the hearing. 

Public hearing on the improvement.  At the hearing, the council should give interested people a chance to voice their concerns, whether or not they are in the proposed assessment area.  A reasonable estimate of the total amount to be assessed and a description of the methodology used to calculate individual assessment for affected parcels must be available at the hearing.  When a petition signed by 100 percent of the landowners requests the improvement, the council may order the improvement without a hearing.

Ordering the improvement and the preparation of plans.   If the council began the proceedings because of a petition signed by the owners of at least 35 percent of the property abutting the improvement, the council can pass a resolution to order the improvement with a majority vote.  However, if the council initiated the proceedings, a four-fifths majority vote of the council is needed to pass the resolution.  After the resolution is passed, the city engineer should prepare the necessary plan and specifications.  The council should decide how the improvement will be done and, if necessary, issue a call for bids.

Preparation of the proposed assessment roll.  The city clerk and the engineer must calculate the proper amount to be specially assessed against each property that will benefit from the improvement.  The proposed assessment roll must be available for public inspection in the city clerk's office.

Notice of the public hearing on the proposed assessment.  The city must publish notice of hearing in the city's official newspaper.  The publication must occur at least once, not less than two weeks prior to the hearing.  The city must also mail notice of hearing to each property owner at least two weeks prior to the hearing date. 

Public hearing on adopting assessment roll.  At the hearing, the council should hear and consider all objections to the proposed assessment, whether presented orally or in writing.  The Council has some flexibility before it adopts the assessment roll and may change, or amend, the proposed assessment.  Council must, by resolution, adopt the same as the special assessment against the lands named in the assessment roll.  Once the assessment roll is adopted the assessments are set and become liens against the properties listed.  The Council must also decide the interest rate and the number of years over which the property owners may pay the assessment.   

Payment of assessments and interest.  Once the Clerk has prepared the Special Assessment Roll and the Council has approved it, property owners initially have two options:

  1. Either pay the total amount of their assessment immediately, or
  2. Pay the assessment in annual installments (with interest) under the terms set by the Council.

Alternatively, the property owner can:

  1. Pay the entire amount of the assessment within 30 days after the council adopts the assessment roll.  In this situation, the city cannot charge any interest. 
  2. Pay the entire amount at any time after 30 days, but before any certification to the County Auditor (usually November 15th). The property owner pays only the amount of interest accrued as of the date of payment. 
  3. At any time after the certification, the property owner may still pay the entire remaining unpaid amount to the City Clerk.  However, the property owner must pay the entire unpaid amount of the assessment before November 15th of any year. 
City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071