Frequently Asked Questions
What is a special assessment?
A charge made by the Town against properties to pay the cost of improvements that are constructed to serve abutting or adjacent properties. The process apportions the costs to the properties that are benefitted by the improvement.
What improvements are assessed?
The Town of Grand Chute coordinates many construction projects during the year, and the following projects are assessable as specified in the Assessment Policy:
The following are projects that are not assessable, and are typically maintenance projects:
- Street Construction
- Street Reconstruction
- Sewer Construction
- New Water Main Construction
- Storm Water Construction
- Sidewalk Construction
How are specific projects identified?
- Chip Sealing
- Thin Asphalt Overlay
Projects are identified in a number of ways. The Town conducts an annual street condition inspection and rates the roads on a scale of 1 to 10. Using this scale, the Public Works staff determines when a road will be up for repair. Utility projects are on a need and demand basis. Public Works staff will also look at the age of water and sewer mains to determine if replacement is necessary. Typically utility replacement projects are not assessable.
How are costs assessed to each individual property?
Costs of projects are determined by the current Assessment Policy that is reviewed annually by the Town Board.
My street is currently under construction, how will I know what my assessment will be?
Once the budget is approved in November, Public Works staff compiles the data for the projects that will take place the following year. Post cards are mailed to all residents in early January informing them there will be construction on their road and if the project is assessable. From there, a public hearing is scheduled where a final resolution is provided, which lists the estimated maximum amount that is assessable to the property owners. This estimate is based off of actual bid prices from the contractor that has been awarded the project.
What payment plans are available if a property owner can’t afford to pay the assessment?
Payment Plans are as follows:
Failure to return a remittance copy of your assessment bill showing which payment option you would like to select prior to the due date, will cause the default option of five (5) annual installments to be assigned to each assessment greater than $200.
- Assessment paid in full by the due date shown on the special assessment bill (no interest due).
- Assessment paid in full on the next tax roll (no interest due).
- Five annual installments (plus interest) - total assessment must be greater than $200.
- Ten annual installments (plus interest) - total assessment must be greater than $4,000.
What is the cost to the homeowner?
Over the past several years, the cost to single and two-family-zoned properties for similar projects has been between $90 to $100 per front foot. For a subdivision with lots that average 100 feet of frontage, the total special assessment would average $9,000 to $10,000 per lot. The actual cost will be determined after bids are opened for the project.
What are the benefits of urbanization?
Instead of water being channeled from streets and yard drains to ditches, the water is directed to a storm sewer and removed from the area. This will prevent water from recirculating into the shallow groundwater. The overall poor ditch grades are common in Grand Chute and do not allow water to flow from ditches. As ditches erode and silting occurs, many localized flooding problems occur. Localized flooding cannot be remedied without moving the problem to another neighbor. Urbanized streets with curb and gutter also make a property more marketable than those streets with ditches, due to "curb appeal". Urbanized streets and storm sewers require less maintenance than roads with ditches. Subdivisions that have been urbanized report no drainage problems, and maintenance costs have been limited. In the long run, it is more cost effective for fully developed residential neighborhoods to have urbanized streets.
Are sidewalks being planned?
Sidewalks are generally included with a project only when the residents request them. Sidewalks will be added to a street without a request from the adjacent property owners when there is a need based on pedestrian traffic.
Our area has water runoff in the spring and sump pumps run a lot. How will runoff hoses be discharged to drain our street?
All sump pumps that drain to the street will be hooked up to the new storm sewer. This will drain sump water away from your property and prevent it from recirculating back to your sump pit.
If I have questions, who should I contact?
Utility and current/future project questions - Public Works 920-832-1581
Assessment balance and payment option questions - Finance 920-832-1632