Getting street lights for your neighborhood
Volusia County's Special Improvements Program
You're interested in seeing some improvements around your neighborhood. You may want street lights, sidewalks, a street paved, a sewer system or a treatment plant installed or improved drainage. How do you get it done?
Preparing the petition
The first step is to put together a special petition and get the signatures of a majority (51 percent or more) of the property owners in the area involved or the owners of at least a majority of the property in the area involved. Petition forms are available at the County Manager's office, Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, third floor, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand.
The petition must contain:
- A designation of the proposed boundaries of the area to be improved.
- A general description of the improvements is desired.
- A statement of the total number of lots, including total footage along the lots, which will benefit by the improvements.
- Legal descriptions of the petitioners' property opposite their signatures.
- A property ownership map of the benefited areas.
- The name, address and telephone number of the individual who will act as the official representative of the petitioners.
Before submitting your "Petition for Special Assessment District" to the County Manager's Office, please be sure you have satisfied the requirements on the following checklist:
- Do you have the signatures of the majority (51 percent or more) of the total land owners or a majority of the owners of the total lands within the proposed district?
- Do you have a copy of the recorded plat for the subdivision with the benefited area outlined?
- If the area is not within a subdivision, do you have a legal description of the boundaries described by metes and bounds and plotted as a property ownership map?
- Have you supplied all the information requested on the petition?
- Have you included the name, address and telephone number of the Official Representative?
Submitting the petition
Once the petition is ready, please present it to the County Manager's Office. The administrative staff will evaluate it, assist in further completion, prepare a total cost estimate and present staff recommendations to the Volusia County Council.
Ordinance and preliminary assessment roll prepared
The County Council will review the request, define the area to be included in the special improvement district and direct the staff to prepare an ordinance and preliminary assessment roll. The ordinance will include the nature of the proposed improvements, the total estimated costs and the method of payment. The roll will spell out how much each property owner is scheduled to pay for the entire project on each lot or parcel he owns in the benefited area.
Adoption of ordinance and assessment roll -- public hearing
After proper notification, the County Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed ordinance and assessment roll. Before the hearing, each affected property owner is notified about the proposed improvements, the total amount he is scheduled to pay on each lot or parcel he owns, and the date, time and place of the public hearing. At the hearing, each property owner will have a chance to comment about the project and assessment. The County Council then will adopt or reject the project by majority vote on the proposed ordinance and preliminary assessment roll.
After adoption of the ordinance, the improvement project is placed on the Special Improvement List and assigned a schedule as to when work will begin. The work will be done by the Volusia County's Public Works Services or on a contract basis. When the work starts depends on the availability of funds in the Special Improvements Account and where the project has been placed on the work list.
What about money?
You pay for the improvements you receive by a special assessment on your property. The amount you pay depends on the type of improvement. The amount you pay in relation to your neighbors depends on how much benefit you receive from the improvement. These may be determined by such factors as front footage, the distance of your property from the improvement, the area benefited by the improvement or a combination of these.
Final assessment roll
Immediately after improvements are completed, the final actual cost will be determined. If the final assessment exceeds the preliminary assessment on each lot or parcel in the benefited area by more than 10 percent, a public hearing will be held following notification of all property owners. At this hearing, the County Council will adopt a final assessment roll including any changes relating to the benefit each parcel, lot or unit will receive from the improvements or service. If the final assessment is less than 10 percent above the preliminary assessment, the increase will be effective following notification of all property owners within the District.
The County of Volusia pays all monthly bills for electrical use and fixture and pole rentals. Property owners will be billed annually for their prorated share of the costs.
If you have any questions about the county's Special Improvement Program (Ordinances 79-2 and 79-3), please contact Public Works Services at:
386-257-6000, ext. 15968
New Smyrna Beach
386-423-3300, ext. 15968