Public water mains and sanitary sewers are typically extended to serve established neighborhoods by means of the special assessment process. The Engineering and Environmental Services Department provides petitions with cost estimates for future water and sewer extensions in the planning phase of creating a Special Assessment District (SAD).
SAD Petition Process for Water or Sewer Construction
The creation of a special assessment district requires a petition with estimated project costs to be circulated by the residents in the proposed district. The petition must be signed by a majority of both land area and homeowners. After a successful petition is submitted, engineering plans and specifications are developed for public bidding. The Township will hold two Public Hearings for those residents in the proposed district before proceeding with the construction project and establishing the special assessment. The financing of the project is contingent upon the available funding at the time the petition is submitted to the Township.
If the final special assessment cost after receiving sealed public bids exceeds more than 10% of the cost presented on the petition, then the project will be placed on hold for 30 days. A new petition may be circulated with the updated bid cost in that 30 day period or the project may not proceed. The actual final assessment cost will be billed at the start of construction and may be financed up to twenty (20) years at 6% interest on the unpaid balance.
Contact the EESD by phone at 248-594-2800 for more information.
Creating a Special Assessment District for Road Paving Improvements in Bloomfield Township
Public roads in residential subdivisions are owned by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). Paving improvements in subdivisions are commonly done through the RCOC using the Special Assessment process. Another option is for Bloomfield Township residents to request the Township to create a Special Assessment District, under Public Act 188 of 1954, for paving subdivision roads. Through an agreement with the RCOC, the Township can create a Special Assessment District to pay for the road improvements.
In a Special Assessment District, the property owners benefiting from the road paving project pay for the entire cost of the project through an assessment. The project costs include the engineering, financing, and construction of the project.
The creation of a Special Assessment District requires an official petition, with estimated project costs, to be signed by the residents in the proposed Special Assessment District. This petition must be signed by a majority of the property owners in the proposed Special Assessment District and also include the majority of the total frontage on the road. After a successful petition has been approved by the Township Board of Trustees, engineering plans and specifications are developed for public bidding. The Township Board of Trustees will hold Public Hearings for the residents in the proposed district before proceeding with the construction and imposing the special assessment. The financing of the project is contingent upon the available funding at the time the petition is approved by the Township Board of Trustees.
The Michigan construction season is roughly six months, therefore sufficient time for planning is recommended. Below is how a Special Assessment District can be established for road improvements in a residential subdivision through the Township:
- Township residents are encouraged to circulate an Expression of Interest Form before requesting an official petition from the Township. The purpose of this form is to identify support for the road improvements from the majority of the property owners in the subdivision. The RCOC requires the Expression of Interest Form before they will proceed with a preliminary plan and cost estimate. This document is not required under Public Act 188 or by the Township. The use of the Expression of Interest Form is at the Township’s discretion in considering the need to prepare the official petition.
- The Expression of Interest Form is submitted to the Bloomfield Township Engineering and Environmental Services Department (EESD). The EESD will verify that more than 50% of the property owners are interested in proceeding with a road improvement project. When verified, the EESD will forward the completed Expression of Interest Form to the RCOC for a preliminary engineering plan and a cost estimate. The preliminary costs are based on information obtained by the RCOC performing onsite surveys and taking pavement cores. It may take the RCOC from six months to a year to provide this comprehensive information back to the Township. In some cases where the RCOC is not able to meet the Township’s schedule for paving then, at the Township’s discretion, consulting engineers may provide theses engineering services.
- The Township Engineering and Environmental Services Department (EESD) will prepare the official Township petition for the project with the preliminary cost estimate including engineering, financing and construction. The official petition contains directions for the petition circulator(s) and the property owners, as well as, a description of the proposed Special Assessment District and the scope of work. It takes the EESD about two to three weeks to complete the petition documents.
- The official Township petition will be given to the residents who provided the Expression of Interest Form. If a homeowner’s association board is initiating the road improvement, the official petition will be provided to the association’s board officers or representatives. This official petition requires signatures that represent the following: (1) more than 51% of the recorded owners of land for the total frontage of the roads slated for improvement, and (2) more than 51% of the property owners within the Special Assessment District. It is recommended but not required under Public Act 188, that the petition circulators present the official petition to all property owners in the proposed Special Assessment District. Any property owner not in favor of the project should not sign the petition.
- The official Township petition must be returned to the Township Assessor’s Office for verification of signatures. There is no expiration date on a petition, but each petition identifies a target return date necessary to meet the upcoming construction season.
- After the petition has been verified by the Township Assessor, the Township Board of Trustees will consider accepting the official petition at one of their regular meetings held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. If approved, the Township Board of Trustees will set a date for the Public Hearing of Necessity. Formal notice will be published by the Township Clerk for the Public Hearing inviting comments on the proposed project from all property owners within the district.
- At the Public Hearing of Necessity, the Township Board of Trustees will listen to comments from property owners within the district. The Township Board of Trustees will vote to proceed or reject the project. If the Township Board of Trustees votes to proceed, this authorizes the project’s design engineers to complete the construction drawings and specifications for public bidding. At this same meeting, the Township Board of Trustees will schedule the Public Hearing of the Assessment Roll.
- The project will then be advertised for public bidding. After actual sealed bids are received for construction, the EESD will determine the total project costs. This cost is then used by the Township Assessor to prepare the final assessment roll which includes the cost assigned to each individual property owner. If the assessment amount increases by more than 10% of the estimated cost, Public Act 188 requires an additional public hearing before the Public Hearing of the Assessment Roll meeting. At this additional public hearing, the Township Board of Trustees will decide whether or not to proceed with the project and continue with the Public Hearing of the Assessment Roll. At the Public Hearing of the Assessment Roll, property owners are given the opportunity to comment on the final assessment. If the Township Board of Trustees adopts the resolution confirming the assessment roll, the RCOC engineers can proceed with the project. Residents within the district have 30 days to appeal their assessment to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
- Once the project is approved and the assessment confirmed, the property owners will be invoiced their assessment concurrent with the start of construction. Property owners have the option to pay the assessment in full or finance the assessment up to fifteen (15) years. Assessments being financed will be billed annually along with their winter tax bill.
Contact the EESD by phone at 248-594-2800 for more information.
Newly Paved Roads