Local Improvement Districts
When the City and Public Work Together to Enhance the Safety, Appearance and Value of Your Neighborhood
What is an LID?
An LID or 'Local Improvement District' is a specific geographic boundary encompassing a neighborhood or business district and formed by a group of property owners working together to bring about needed capital improvements within that boundary. An LID also provides a funding mechanism to property owners for the design and construction of desired improvements. Improvements ranging from street paving and sidewalks to street lights and sewer lines are then paid for by the benefiting property owners using the LID process administered by the City of Moscow.
Why Create an LID?
If you and a majority of your neighbors desire to enhance the safety, quality, appearance and value of your neighborhood and/or business district but you feel development and funding of such improvements is overwhelming and you desire to fairly distribute the costs over all the properties within the neighborhood with affordable annual payments, then you may want to take advantage of the assistance available to you through the City in creating, constructing and administering an LID.
What is the First Step in Creating an LID?
One or more citizens make an inquiry to the City of Moscow Engineering Division LID Coordinator to discuss the desired improvements and assess the feasibility, proposed boundaries and likely costs of creating an improvement district. One or more property owners within the proposed boundary are then advised to canvass other owners in the neighborhood to gauge the level of support prior to preparing a petition creating the district.
Should a canvass of the property owners within a proposed LID boundary indicate sixty percent (60%) or more of the owners favor making specific improvements to the neighborhood or business district, the City LID Coordinator will prepare a petition to create a voluntary LID. The petition shall include a legal description of the proposed district boundary, an exhibit depicting the properties within the boundary, a list of property owners (as shown on record at the county courthouse) along with mailing and affected property addresses. Signatures of all property owners, resident and non-resident, favoring the LID shall be attached to the petition and returned to the City Engineering or City Clerk's office. A review of the petition will be performed verifying the signatures and establishing a percentage of those owners who support the creation of the district. If sixty percent (60%) of resident property owners or sixty-six percent (66%) of all owners have signed the petition, the support will be considered sufficient to create a district.
Creating the District
The City Engineering Division will complete preliminary designs and cost estimates for the specified improvements. Anticipated engineering and administrative costs will be added to the construction estimate to help cover the municipality expenses. A neighborhood meeting will be organized by the City LID Coordinator to explain the LID formation process and anticipated costs to each property. The City Clerk will prepare a Resolution of Intent to Create an LID including the costs provided by engineering staff. The City Council of Moscow will review and must pass the Resolution before setting a date for a public hearing. All property owners within the LID boundary shall receive a notice of the public hearing and have opportunity at the hearing to submit in writing, or appear in person to support or protest the proposed district. The City Council will determine at the public hearing if sufficient support exists to pass an ordinance forming the district.
Constructing the Improvements
The City Engineering Division will perform surveys, design and prepare bid documents for the project improvements. Upon advertising and receiving competitive bids, the engineering staff will determine if estimated costs are still in line with those advertised in the Resolution of Intent (final LID assessments are not to exceed twenty percent (20%) of the amount in the resolution). The City will administer construction staking, inspection, management and interim financing of the project. From start to finish, property owner input of project development is always welcome and taken into consideration.
City Engineering staff will compile all pertinent expenses involved in constructing the improvements, add in twenty percent (20%) of those total expenses for engineering and administration (E&A) costs and combine with the interest paid for interim financing to determine the overall costs assessed to the District. Various methods of distributing the costs among the properties within the LID boundary will be reviewed to most fairly represent the benefits derived by those properties. Once a method of fairly distributing costs is determined, a list of properties and their assigned cost is prepared. This list is called the Assessment Roll, which is presented to the City Council at an advertised public hearing.
All property owners within the District will be notified of the public hearing date set for a regular City Council meeting. The public hearing will be the opportunity for owners to comment on the assessment roll. Protests will be considered and documented. Upon confirmation of the Assessment Roll, the City Finance Director will prepare a billing for each property owner and outline payment options.
Once the assessment roll has been set, each property owner shall have thirty (30) days to prepay the assessment in full without additional interest charges. Any remaining assessments, after the prepayment period, shall be totaled and financing arranged (usually in the form of municipal bonds) by the City Finance Director. Normally, ten annual payments are set up for recovery of the assessments with the first payment due one year from the last day of the prepayment period. The City of Moscow Finance Department will send annual billings prior to the due date. Deferments of payments are subject to state and local laws and may subject affected properties to a recorded lien.