Sidewalk Repair Options
By law ( City Charter, Chapter 8, sections 12 and 13), the cost of the construction and repair of the public sidewalks in the City of Minneapolis is the responsibility of the property owner. The Sidewalk Inspections office oversees the construction and repair of public sidewalks.
When a property owner receives a sidewalk repair notice, he/she has two options:
- Hire a properly bonded private sidewalk contractor to do the required repairs
- Allow a city-hired contractor to repair the sidewalk, and have the City bill you for the cost of replacement
The bonded sidewalk contractor you hire must obtain a "Sidewalk Construction" permit from the Public Works Sidewalk Inspections office before proceeding with the sidewalk repair work. A $15,000 Sidewalk contractors bond must also be obtained by the sidewalk contractor prior to performing any work in the Public Right of Way.
For sidewalk construction within the City of Minneapolis it is a requirement to obtain a permit for installation of new sidewalk panels. Contractors please use the link below for access into the online permit request system for further information.
Also, that contractor must complete the work to the City standard; which is higher than most cement work completed on private property.
See list of Bonded Sidewalk Contractors (pdf).
If the sidewalk repair work is performed by the sidewalk contractor hired by the City, the Sidewalk Inspections office will bill or assess the property owner for the cost of replacement. This system is designed to simplify the hiring and payment of contractors for residents.
The City sells municipal bonds to establish a fund to pay for sidewalk repair or replacement. The City pays the sidewalk contractor from this fund after the work is complete and invoiced by the contractor. The City in turn bills each property owner for the actual cost of their property's work. The property owner can pay the bill in full within 30 days or may have the cost of the work assessed (as a special assessment) to his/her property taxes.
If the cost is less than $150.00, the property owner pays the assessment in one installment; if the cost is between $150.00 and $1500.00 the assessment is in five equal annual installments; and if the cost is greater than $1500.00 in 10 equal annual installments. Interest is charged only on the remaining principal. The current interest rate is approximately 4.5%, but that fluctuates depending on the rate at which the bonds are sold.
The cost of sidewalk work performed by the City’s contractor is almost always less than the cost of hiring a private sidewalk contractor. The reasons are:
- The City is able to secure a lower price because of the volume of work (economies of scale)
- The property owner can "finance" the cost of the work as an assessment on their property taxes
This "financing" is less costly than any private financing available on the open market if the property owner were to take out a loan to pay their privately hired contractor.
Last updated Jan. 29, 2013