Secondary Road Assessment Districts

Property owners wanting road improvements above and beyond County maintenance procedures may follow the assessment provision detailed in Iowa Code, Chapter 311. This provision provides for the owners to pay 50-percent to 100-percent of the total cost of the project and to establish what is to be done and how it is to be paid. The cost of the project is based on an Engineer’s report that is created after a petition for assessment district is provided and signed by no less than 50-percent of the involved property owners. At a public hearing the Board of Supervisors will set the percentage of the total cost the property owners must pay.  During the hearing, the public can voice their opinions on the assessment and the Board will decide whether to proceed or not. The County typically contributes the survey, design, and administration of the project.

Road Assessment District Process

  1. Petition - Property owners must submit a petition for road improvement to the Secondary Road Department. The petition must be signed by 50-percent of the adjacent owners. Once the petition is received the process typically takes a minimum of one year. 
  2. Engineer's Report (approximately 3 months after petition is received) - The Secondary Road Department will provide the owners with a cost estimate. The estimate will show the cost for 50-percent owner responsibility and 100-percent owner responsibility. The report covers the requirements for road improvements and general County compliance related to entrances, drainage, culverts, and obstructions within the right-of-way.
  3. Public Hearing (approximately 3 months after completion of Engineer's Report) - The Board of Supervisors sets the percentage of total costs and interest the owners must pay. Each property owner may choose to pay the costs upfront or over 10 years on their property taxes. 
  4. Construction (approximately 6-12 months after Board approval) - If approved, the Secondary Road Department will finalize the plans and get the road constructed. Depending on the time of year the Board approves the assessment district, construction will typically start within 6-12 months. 

Approximate Construction Costs

  • Mud Road (Class B) to a Rock Road (Class A):  $70/LF (rock surfaced road to be maintained/plowed by Linn County)
  • Rock Road to a Double Seal Coat:  $60/LF (Linn County to maintain as a hard surface road)
  • 2" Asphalt Overlay:  $70/LF (10-15 year lifespan)

Engineer's Reports