FAQs

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  • How soon must property owners remove snow from their sidewalks?

    Property owners have 24 hours after a snowfall to remove the snow from their sidewalks. 
  • How do I dispose of yard waste and brush?

    City residents may take yard waste and brush to the drop-off site behind the City Street Department at 5 Riverside Drive from mid April to mid November. 
    The drop-off site is open on weekdays, excluding Holidays, from 7:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. and on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Further information is available by calling the yard waste information line at 720-6971. 
  • What improvements are special assessments levied for?

    The City normally levies special assessments for the new construction and reconstruction of sanitary sewers, water mains, sewer and water connections, curb and gutter, sidewalks, driveway aprons, street surfacing and alley paving. New construction of road grading, gravel, street paving, and in some conditions storm sewer may be assessed. Some of the items above are assessed on a guaranteed life basis and if they have to be replaced within that useful life, credit is given to the benefited property. In isolated cases, other costs may be assessed for if a specific benefit is derived by the property.
  • Who determines the amount assessed for each item?

    The assessment rates are adjusted annually in accordance with the current costs to construct each item and are recommended to the Common Council by the Board of Public Works based on the previous year’s construction costs or current year bid prices. Similar assessments are used throughout the City; rates are consistent and do not vary from street to street or in accordance with the size of sewer and water mains. The assessment rates are based on the minimum sewer and water sizes necessary for residential service and construction on an average width residential street. The increased costs of larger pipes and wider streets are paid from the general or utility fund.

  • How are assessable improvements projects initiated and authorized?

    One of the duties of the Engineering Department’s Staff is to examine the various needs of the City of Chippewa Falls and make recommendations to the Board of Public Works and Common Council, but projects can be initiated by a number of methods including requests from property owners; sewer, water main, and storm sewer infrastructure needs; petitions from property owner;, as well as the necessity to maintain and improve older sections of infrastructure within the City. The Mayor and City Council review these recommendations and, if the projects appear reasonable, include them in the budget process. If the projects are included within the budget, a preliminary resolution is adopted and sent to all property owners affected by the improvements. A public hearing is then scheduled in which all property owners are invited to attend and the Council’s final authorization of a project is made after the public hearing has been held.

  • How do I pay my special assessments?

    A bill will be mailed to the property owner after the improvements have been completed. The property owner has two methods in which to pay for the special assessments.

    The first method is for the owner to pay the project assessments in full no later than February 28th of the year following construction. By doing so, the owner will avoid any interest charges.

    The second payment method is to have them added to the property tax in five (5) or ten (10) equal annual principal installments, depending on the amount assessed. In most cases, the first installment will appear on the tax statement in December of the year following construction. An interest rate of is applied to the unpaid balances at the end of each year. The interest rate is based on the bond rate paid by the City.  Assessments may be paid in full at any time.



  • What if I can’t afford the assessments?

    In cases where special assessments may cause a financial hardship the City may forgive or defer collection of the assessments. The property owner will need to send a letter to the City Clerk requesting the deferment and then appear at a confidential meeting with the City Finance Committee and provide evidence of the hardship case.

  • How can I learn more about the project

    For further information on this, or any other City Street and Utility Improvement Projects please contact the Engineering Department at (715) 726-2736, or stop at the office which is located on the second floor of City Hall, 30 West Central Street.

  • My street is in poor condition, what is the process for getting it reconstructed?

    There are many ways streets are included in the annual budget for reconstruction. They range from a recommendation from the Engineering Department, citizen petitions, citizen requests and special other factors that may contribute to the need for reconstruction. If you are interested in getting a petition for street construction stop by the Engineering Office at 2nd Floor, City Hall, 30 West Central Street for details.

  • I am replacing or constructing a new driveway approach in the public right-of-way. What do I need for permits?

    To replace a driveway approach in the public right-of-way, you will need a driveway permit which can be obtained from the Chippewa Falls Engineering Department. Before a driveway permit can be issued, engineering staff verifies the driveway will lead to a legal parking area, the planned opening at the curb and gutter does not exceed 35 feet from edge to edge and check for any other concerns that the driveway may cause. The permits can only be issued to a General Contractor or the person or organization that is performing the work.

  • Who is responsible for installing and maintaining sidewalks?

    The property owner is responsible for 100% of the cost to install and maintain sidewalks.

  • What happens if the property owner doesn’t maintain the sidewalk?

    If the property owner fails to maintain the sidewalk, the City may issue a Sidewalk Condemnation Order. The property owner would then have 20 days to correct the deficient sidewalk. If after 20 days the sidewalk hasn’t been repaired, the City would cause the work to be done and bill the property owner.

  • Why did I receive a Sidewalk Order and Notice?

    The City issues sidewalk replacement orders when the sidewalk is deemed to be unsafe. The criteria for issuing sidewalk orders, in areas other than downtown, include but are not limited to: 1” joint displacement, wide cracks and surface spalling.

  • Can a property owner install his own sidewalk?

    Property owners can install their own sidewalk as long as they comply with the City’s specifications. A copy of the specifications can be picked up at the City Engineer’s office.

  • Does the City require property owners/contractors to obtain a permit prior to constructing a sidewalk?

    Property owners/contractors are required to get a Sidewalk Permit when the sidewalk across the entire frontage is replaced or when sidewalk is installed for the first time.

  • Does the City set sidewalk grades?

    The City sets sidewalk line and grade. The property owner/contractor should contact the Department at least 3 days prior to construction. There is no fee for grade requests.

  • What happens if I do not pay the assessments?

    Special assessments are similar to real estate taxes in respect that both become a lien against the property involved. If the assessments are not paid, the City may, after due process, sell the property at public sale in order to collect the amount due.

  • If the City repairs my sidewalk, how will I be billed?

    After the City’s Contractor has completed the sidewalk repair, the City will send the property owner a bill for the repairs which is due upon receipt. If the bill is not paid on or before February 28th of the year following construction, the bill added to the property tax in five (5) or ten (10) equal annual principal installments, depending on the amount assessed. In most cases, the first installment will appear on the tax statement in December of the year following construction. An interest rate of is applied to the unpaid balances at the end of each year. The interest rate is based on the bond rate paid by the City.  Assessments may be paid in full at any time.