Special Assessment Information

Property owners who wish to construct an alley, sidewalk, or street, or extend a gas main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, or water main may petition the City for the transportation or utility project to be constructed and assessed.  The petition must consist of the majority of owners based upon front footage of property to be assessed. 

The following is the special assessment process according to the City of Duluth Finance Department (see the coordinating flow chart here):

  • Project start - Improvement projects can be Council initiated or petition driven.  The City Engineering Division is responsible for large-scale roadway, gas, water, sanitary sewer, and storm water projects. 
  • Notice of the Special Assessment Board Public Hearing - The City must mail notice to each affected property owner at least 10 days prior to the hearing date.
  • Special Assessment Board Public Hearing - The hearing gives affected property owners an opportunity to voice their opinions about their proposed assessment.  After all testimony is received, the Special Assessment Board closes the public hearing and votes on the assessment.
  • City Council approval of the proposed project - The resolution ordering the improvement and a recommendation from the Special Assessment Board will be presented to the City Council.
  • Notice of the City Council Public Hearing - Notice is published in the Duluth News Tribune 20 days prior to the public hearing.  Individual notices are also sent to residents 10 days prior to public hearing on the final assessment roll.
  • City Council Public Hearing - Final assessment roll certified by the City Council.
  • Assessment billing- After the assessment roll has been approved by the City Council, City staff mails invoices to the affected property owners.  Owners have 40 days to pay the assessment without interest.  After the initial payment due date, interest will begin to accrue.
For further information regarding transportation or utility projects, contact the following engineers:

Alleys, sidewalks, and streets: Cari Pedersen, P.E. (218-730-5091)

Gas main extensions: Howard Smith, P.E. (218-730-5092)

Sanitary sewer and water main extensions: Howard Smith, P.E. (218-730-5092)

Storm sewer extensions: Tom Johnson, P.E. (218-730-5103)