Special Assessment District (SAD) Process
Residents interested in having their road repaved will need to work through the process of creating a SAD. The Township encourages residents to create a committee consisting of several neighbors who are willing to commit time to this process. This committee will be the contact point for the Township and will help establish the SAD from beginning to end.
A special assessment is not a tax. Rather, a special assessment is a specific levy designed to recover the costs of improvements that confer local and peculiar benefits upon property within a defined area (i.e. Roads, Water, Sewer, Drainage Projects). Special assessments are sustained upon the theory that the value of property in the special assessment district is enhanced by the improvement for which the assessment is made.
Steps to Establish a SAD
The following steps need to be taken to establish a SAD and proceed with a subdivision road project:
- Contact the Township to discuss the project and the process needed to move forward
- The Township in conjunction with the Genesee County Road Commission (GCRC) will investigate and determine the needed scope of work
- An estimate of the cost for the proposed road improvements will be requested from the GCRC by the Township DPW. The process for creating the estimate can take six months to a year to complete depending on the scope for the project and the current GCRC workload.
- Once completed, the estimate will be forwarded to the resident committee to determine if the SAD is still viable to pursue.
- A public information meeting can be scheduled with the GCRC and all impacted residents to discuss the project and answer any questions. Although the meeting will be arranged and hosted by the Township, the Resident committee will be responsible for spreading the work and inviting the residents.
- Once residents decide they want to continue with the process, petitions will be printed and the resident committee must circulate them to their neighbors. Successful petitions will have signatures from residents representing at least 51% of the lineal front frontage of the project area. All names appearing on a deed must sign the petition. The time frame to get the petitions signed is generally 6 months.
- Once the petitions are completed, the Township Clerk and Assessor will verify the signatures and lineal footage to make sure the 51% threshold is met.
- The project will then go to the Township Board to hold a public hearing (Needs Hearing). This hearing determines if the improvement is warranted and has the proper support. This gives those in opposition of the project a chance to speak or it gives those who signed the petition a chance to remove their signatures. In the same meeting, the Township Board will then determine if enough signatures were collected to move the project forward and they may vote to establish the SAD.
- Once the Township Board votes to establish the SAD, The GCRC will be notified and they will begin design. The Township staff will research all properties that should be included in the district and they will prepare the SAD for public examination. This includes determining the final estimated cost for the project. Another public hearing will be held (Cost Hearing) to reveal all costs related to the project and how much costs are assigned to each property. The Township Board may then vote to finalize the establishment of the SAD.
- The GCRC will continue to design the project and then let bids for construction. Generally speaking, construction will commence following the establishment of the SAD. This depends on when the petition process ends. Once bids are returned, the project will automatically be awarded unless the lowest bid is 10% more than the GCRC estimate. In that case, the project will come back to the Township Board for another public hearing to determine if the project should move forward or not.