(Rochester, MN) — November 15, 2022 – – The City of Rochester adopted the Sidewalk Improvement District (SID) program at the City Council meeting on Monday, November 14, 2022. Adoption of this program reassigns the cost of sidewalk repairs and replacement from the adjacent property owner to a distribution among a greater portion of the community, as sidewalks are a benefit to, and are available for use, by all. In 2020 under the previous program, property owners paid an average of $854 for sidewalk repairs and it was not uncommon for properties to incur fees ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. The average anticipated residential rate under the new program is $57 annually.
The benefits of the SID program include:
- A more understandable, predictable, convenient and affordable program for property owners.
- Cost of walkable community is distributed among all residents.
- A more efficient program to administer.
Deputy City Administrator Cindy Steinhauser shares, “With the adoption of the SID program we are aligning with City’s strategic priorities of affordable living and quality services for quality living by eliminating the expensive surprise sidewalk fees that property owners experienced under the past program while continuing to improve connectivity in our community. Instead, property owners across the City will share the cost of keeping Rochester a livable, walkable community.”
Under the authority provided in Minnesota Statute 435.44, the Public Works Department developed the Sidewalk Improvement District (SID) Program with designated districts where the costs of repairing pedestrian facilities are spread across all parcels based on real estate classification. City Council also voted to accelerate progress toward the goals in Rochester’s Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Transition Plan by approving a combination of additional tax levy and SID charges. The property owner share of these costs are included in the anticipated residential rate mentioned above.
City teammates will soon begin education and awareness efforts to help ensure all residents are aware of the new SID and how it will work. More information can be found at rochestermn.gov/sidewalks.