What is the Street Maintenance Service Program?

The Saint Paul Public Works Department maintains and repairs more than 1,800 lane-miles of streets and 300 alleys throughout Saint Paul, keeping them safe and passable year-round. Some of the City’s street and alley maintenance services include: 

These services provide a general benefit to city residents and are paid for through property taxes. 

Other street and alley maintenance services include:

  • Street lighting (repair, replacement, electricity) 
  • Street and alley sweeping (frequency depends on type of street)
    • Downtown streets – 64 times/year
    • Commercial/arterial streets– 8 times/year
    • Residential streets – 2 times/year
    • Oiled/paved alleys – 1 time/year
  • Seal coating of residential streets and alleys 
  • Mill and overlay of commercial/arterial streets 

These services provide a direct benefit to properties along the streets and alleys where the work is being done. Benefiting properties are directly charged a fee for these services.

How are my street maintenance fees calculated?

  • Fees are based on multiplying your property’s street frontage by a rate per foot.
  • The rate set for each service is intended to recover the actual cost of providing that service, with two exceptions:
    1. For mill and overlay projects, the fee to all property owners is reduced to recover only 50% of the actual cost. The City pays the remaining 50%.
    2. For residential properties 1-4 dwelling units with multiple street or alley frontages (such as corner properties), the fee to property owners for street lighting, street and alley sweeping, and seal coating services is reduced to recover only 50% of the actual cost.  The fee to property owners for mill and overlay services is not adjusted for residential properties because all properties in mill and overlay project areas already receive a 50% reduction of the actual cost.

      Sample Invoice - Sweeping and Lighting

How am I billed for these services?

The City mails you a separate invoice for each of the following services:

  1. Street lighting and street sweeping – Service provided annually, billed once a year in early September, represents services delivered from August 1 (of the previous year) through July 31 (of the current year)
  2. Seal coating – Service provided only once every 8 years, billed at the end of the calendar year
  3. Mill & overlay – Service provided only once every 10 years, billed at the end of the calendar year

Note: The City does not send public hearing notices or receive City Council approval before mailing the invoices.  

After invoices are mailed, the charges will be visible on the City’s assessment web page.

How long do I have to pay the fee after receiving my invoice?

  • You have 30 days from the billing date to pay the fee.
  • If the fee is not paid within 30 days, it becomes an assessment on your property and is collected with your property taxes.

How does the assessment process work?

  • Soon after the 30-day payment deadline has passed, the City sends you a notice of a City Council public hearing on the assessment.
  • The City Council considers and approves the assessment at the public hearing.
  • In late November, the City sends the assessed amount (actual charge plus interest) to Ramsey County to be placed on your property tax statement in the following year. If the assessment is for multi-year projects, such as seal coating or mill and overlay, only the annual installment plus interest and an administrative fee are sent to the County.
  • Assessments for seal coating services may be paid over 8 years, plus interest and an administrative fee.
  • Assessments for mill and overlays services may be paid over 10 years, plus interest and an administrative fee.

Are there any street or alley maintenance services that property owners are directly responsible for?

Yes. You are responsible for the following:

  • Shoveling sidewalks, corners and driveways
  • Plowing alleys
  • Mowing boulevard grass
  • Repairing and replacing outwalks (narrow sidewalk between main sidewalk and street)
  • Repairing and replacing driveways
  • Repairing and replacing hard surface boulevards (concrete or asphalt boulevard area between main sidewalk and street)
  • Replacing downtown sidewalks (if you own property downtown)

Where can I find the policies and procedures?

Street Maintenance Service Program Policies and Procedures

Are there properties that are not charged SMSP fees?

Most properties are charged SMSP fees; however these types of properties are typically not charged the fees:

  • Storage units associated with condominiums or town homes
  • Garage units associated with condominiums or town homes
  • Platted outlots
  • Land-locked parcels (not bordering a street or alley right-of-way)
  • Parcels bordering unimproved right of  way (Class 5 streets, Class 6 alleys) that is used only for access to/from improved right of way
  • Properties where there is no practical access to the bordering right-of-way
  • Properties exempt by law from being charged SMSP fees

Whom can I contact for more information?

For street and alley maintenance services:

      Public Works

  • Streets and alleys – 651-266-9700 (24-hour service number)
  • Sidewalks – 651-266-6120
  • Traffic signs/markings and lighting – 651-266-9777

      Parks and Recreation

  • Boulevard tree trimming – 651-266-6400

For service fee calculations, invoicing and assessment information:

      Financial Services – Assessments – 651-266-8858

Last Edited: May 3, 2022