What are the costs associated with forming a road zone of benefit? Are there other fees required once the zone is established?

A $350 non-refundable application fee is required. This deposit will be used to defray the initial costs associated with zone formation. Formation charges exceeding the initial deposit can be recovered from the zone's first year assessment. There may be additional costs incurred in order to meet formation requirements, such as charges by an engineer to prepare a map or legal description. These charges are paid directly to the service provider. The zone must also pay a fee to the California State Board of Equalization, based on their fee schedule. If funding is to be by special tax, election costs would be payable to the County.

Once established, a zone will be charged annually as follows:
  • A negotiated fee (approximately $2.00 to $3.00 per parcel) to the Auditor for processing costs;
  • A proportionate amount of the cost of a liability insurance policy covering the zone's roads based on the miles of road in each zone;
  • Administration fees which are specific to the work required in each zone, fees include:
  • The cost of staff time spent administering the zone is paid to the Administration Division of Public Works. Administration includes such activities as processing purchase orders, preparing bid documents and contracts, and reviewing and monitoring the budget for each zone. Because this is a direct billing for time worked, this cost will vary greatly with each zone and is dependent upon the number of calls and issues requiring staff involvement;
  • The cost associated with the budget preparation, monthly reconciliation, and general zone activities are spread to all zones;
  • While there is no "average" zone, annual zone administration fees usually range from $500 to $2000 per zone per year.
  • Any and all road work is paid from each respective zone's account. Road work within a zone of benefit is governed by the County's Informal Bidding Procedure Ordinance and Public Works contract law. Licensing, Bonding and compliance with prevailing wage standards are required.
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