MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a rough winter, Minnesotans do not have to look very far to see potholes. Now, some homeowners and businesses are finding out that they need to chip in for the pothole repairs.

Residents in the Hale neighborhood are being asked to pay a special assessment to help fund the project.

“I was irate when I first read it, because we pay a lot for property taxes here. And I’d think resurfacing the streets would probably be part of that?” Carolyn Arnold said, who lives in the neighborhood.

Paying for resurfacing is a road that Arnold, and many others, would rather not go down.

“There are some really bad potholes, but don’t you just fill them in with the tar stuff?” said Carolyn Arnold.

The City of Minneapolis is going to do better than refill those holes. They are going to resurface rough roads, a project that goes from 54th to 50th and Chicago to Cedar, in South Minneapolis.

The letter from the City of Minneapolis says the roads need to be repaved because they haven’t been fixed in almost 38 years.

Arnold’s bill was for $1,052.

“That’s a lot of money, in these times a lot of people don’t have that kind of money,” she said.

Homeowners who are being asked to shell out money.

“Thirteen hundred dollars” said Sam Beberg, who owns the Hot Plate restaurant. “It’s not good to get an extra bill in the mail. You’re not expecting it and you get something you have to pay, and … it’s … you never like seeing that.”

Minneapolis officials say whenever there is street construction the adjacent property owners pay a portion of the cost. The dollar amount depends on the square footage of the lot, but it usually ends up being a quarter of the overall cost.

Minneapolis has been billing homes and businesses like this since the 1980s. People can either pay up in full or have it added to their property taxes and have interested added to the total bill.

Comments (33)
  1. Kristin says:

    This is very interesting because this winter the City dug up almost every street corner so they could put propane tanks to heat the water pipes. I wonder if this might have something to do with that major gas explosion up on 60th? The city used tar patch to cover the 4×4 holes they dug. What a coincidence! Really?

    1. Michael says:

      If city residences are going to be charged fees for patching up commercial roads, than they should be allowed to set up a toll booth at the end of their block and start charging for passage.

  2. conservative says:

    This is so they have enough money to build a bridge to no where at Stillwater. A billion dollar boondoggle!

    1. karl says:

      Yep cause the city of minneapolis is building bridges in stillwater…. maybe if people would pay for what needs to be done right away nstead of for decades passing it off to the next generation it wouldnt be so expensive.

    2. JamieinMN says:

      Your comment makes no sense…..

  3. merks says:

    good thing we are wasting a billion dollars both from the state and feds for a train track! yep that’s a great way to spend money.

    1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      I’ve never seen a pothole in a train track. From my observation I think the steel rails will last a lot longer than the asphalt, making them the better bargain.

      1. Rick Hill says:

        @Richard in Minneapolis—-I don’t see a lot of people on those trains either,

        1. Dave says:

          Thats because you’ve never ridden one. They’re always packed when I ride them to work or to a Twins game.

          1. RIII says:

            Metro transit steals about 69% of its operating cost from everyone, people that use it pay the other 31%. How about charge all the mass transit riders what it really costs to ride the bus or train and put the money back into the roads.

    2. John says:

      Actually you can see old trolley rails in some of the potholes now such as 42nd St and Cedar Av.

  4. Asphalt Al says:

    Just send the bill to Tim “Pothole” Pawlenty somewhere in New Hampshire. Just be glad you didn’t have a bridge fall down in Minneapolis, oh wait………….

    1. Pete says:

      Why did the City let the roads go without repairs for 38 years? Just think if they had made arrangements to finance future repairs when they built the streets, every year for the last 38 a small amount could have been set aside for the work rather than a big hit now. I don’t understand why we do not take a longer term view when we build things like roads and bridges so laws can be passed with the initial funding to cover the future costs of repairs. We all know that costs go up and that repairs will need to be made and I agree that we all should pay but would it be too unpopular to figure in the future costs when we build a building, street or bridge?

      1. Anita Newhouse says:

        If funds are/were set aside as dedicated to a particular project, this would look to legislators from other areas not like long-range planning but like frivolous “wealth”. The fact that Mpls DOES manage it’s exspenses better than most other municipalities ALWAYS comes back to bite us when we are compared to other local ecconomies at the state legislature. In this day and age, dedicated funds-even the voter ratified Legacy Fund- are considered ripe for the picking by legislators who don’t like us.

  5. MPLSMOM says:

    How about the multi million dollar study, and I say study to see if a rail car would be feasible on Nicollet Mall. LOL… This city just is full of waste. Don’t worry they will layoff more firefighters and police officers who are already not getting raises for a very long time and are working with paper thin crews… Minneapolis is definitely a city that is in touch with the majority of its residents….NOT

    1. Anita Newhouse says:

      By all means, let’s cut programs that keep youth engaged and out of trouble over the summer instead cuz that’s such dead-ended, wasteful spending……….NOT!
      I’ll stick with officials who have numbers to back their choices/cuts, thank you. Everyone’s an “expert” on these pages!

      1. @ Anita says:

        I have a program that costs nothing and is proven to keep youth engaged and out of trouble. It’s called PARENTING, you should try it.

        1. JamieinMN says:

          Parenting sure is a great program…..I think more parents should try it. It will be a new experience for them and they may like it.

  6. M says:

    Instead of just charging for the work, they city should let you come out and help with the work for a reduced price. The work would get done quicker and the residents wouldn’t be charged as much.

    1. M says:

      OK nevermind. I guess resurfacing is all done by machine anyways.

  7. llp says:


    1. JamieinMN says:


  8. Chuck McGuire says:

    I received the same letter but live in a neighborhood just south of the one mentioned in the story. It has been 37 years since the street was repaved, not 37 years of no street maintenance. This is a little more than just pothole repair, the asphalt has reached the end of its useful life and it is time for a mill and overlay to correct and expand the life of the existing road bed. My bill is about $590, so it does not hurt as bad as the woman in the story, but I sure as heck am not going to start whining about something that probably will not happen again for another 35+ years. I will pay it and know that this money is directly going to pay for an improvement in my neighborhood. Not like the other $3000 in property taxes I pay that ends up paying for stupid statutes and other b/s that the city calls improvements.

  9. John B says:

    It’s tax deductible if it benefits the public and is not an improvement ( wider ). Check with your tax professional.

  10. VIKES says:


  11. Ann says:

    This is a commom practice in all towns, If you can’t pay the bill right away they put it on your property taxes with intrest.

    GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  12. JamieinMN says:

    Ahhhh the joys of home ownership, eh? Glad I don’t own!

    1. RIII says:

      The person you rent from will just raise your rent to cover the cost. Also are they not doing away with the renters credit?

  13. Wrybak says:

    City of Lakes?! Just fill the pot holes with water!

  14. Me says:

    So why are we using asphalt? I do believe cement is better and last longer but cost more. But it does last longer and we would save in the long run with less maintenance. By the way I am no expert on the subject just something I reada long time ago

  15. Happy2pay4u says:

    Let’s see, our roads get plowed twice a winter regardless of snowfall amounts, we have an astounding dropout rate in our high schools, we require local government aid to keep our finances in order (thank you all the rest of you Minnesota residents), we require the state property tax rebates to keep all our residents from leaving (thanks again, outstate people). Minneapolis is completely dysfunctional. I’m sure glad it’s the model for our nations future….

  16. B by the Swamp says:

    sssseeeeeessshhhh I live by fat Lorenzo’s, did I miss this letter or am I too far south of 54th to get billed? I been here 30 yrs+, Chicago Ave practically crumbled when the wind blowed this last winter………

  17. g.phillips says:

    They aren’t repaving Edgewater,and they aren’t repaving 54th street.( two of the worst streets in the area). I asked my councilman’s assistant and she said they have a very sophisticated computer program that says that our streets need repaving. my bill is also over a grand. what a crock. This city is run by amatuers and fools. It’s time to move. oops, I forgot that Minneapolis is the worst real estate market in America in 2011. Please raise our taxes some more, RT. and I’m glad I voted yes for kids. our class sizes are so very small now. ha!