Street Improvement Program

The Catawba County Street Improvement Program assists property owners with improvements to public streets in their neighborhoods and transferring them to NCDOT’s Secondary Road Maintenance System. The County manages the construction project and bills the cost back to affected property owners through a special assessment similar to a tax assessment. The program is facilitated by Catawba County Utilities & Engineering following North Carolina statutes. For more information call our Utilities & Engineering Department at 828-465-8973.


Streets may be eligible for this program if they are:

  • Located outside municipal limits and not already publicly maintained
  • Dedicated to the public as shown on a plat or map recorded with the Catawba County Register of Deeds*
  • Platted or surveyed with easy to locate boundaries and within a properly established right-of-way
  • Constructed so that any additional improvements would be minimal
  • Not the responsibility of another entity able to fund or construct improvements
  • Petitioned for the program by at least 75% of affected property owners representing at least 75% of affected road frontage

*If the recorded plat includes any reference to private maintenance, private streets or does not include the required language of public dedication, petitioners may amend the plat by hiring a private attorney and obtaining approval by 100% of affected property owners.


Step 1: Evaluation

  • Neighborhood representatives contact Catawba County Utilities & Engineering about program participation. A County contact and a neighborhood liaison are identified to facilitate communication between the County and all affected property owners throughout the project.
  • A preliminary review of the Plat is performed by Catawba County Utilities & Engineering and NCDOT to determine if any issues related to the dedication or maintenance provisions exist. If issues are discovered, then property owners may seek assistance by a private attorney in amending the Plat.
  • County and NCDOT engineers evaluate the street to determine scope of work and its appropriateness for the program. If the street would not be a candidate for NCDOT maintenance following improvements OR is beyond a reasonable scope of work as determined by the County, the project is declined.

Step 2: Estimate

  • The County develops an engineer’s cost estimate for the scope of work.

Step 3: Petition

  • The County provides the neighborhood liaison with an official project petition for signature. The petition includes the engineer’s cost estimate.
  • The affected property owners circulate the petition for signature. If at least 75% of affected property owners sign the petition, the project moves forward for Board of Commissioners consideration.

Step 4: Concurrence

  • NCDOT provides a written commitment to accept the street into the Secondary Road Maintenance System based on successful completion of the scope of work.
  • The Board of Commissioners adopts a Preliminary Resolution outlining the project and sets a public hearing date.
  • Notice of the public hearing is published and mailed to all affected property owners.
  • Affected property owners may share input at the public hearing. The Board then votes on a Final Resolution approving the project. If a Board majority accepts the Resolution, the project moves forward.

Step 5: Construction

  • The County gathers project bids and selects the lowest responsible bidder following statutory bidding requirements.
  • Construction is completed with final inspection by NCDOT.

Step 6: Assessment

  • The Board of Commissioners initiates a Preliminary Assessment Roll based on the project’s final cost and schedules a public hearing. The Roll describes how the project cost will be divided equally across all affected parcels and assessed to each affected property owner.
  • Notice of the hearing is published and mailed to all affected property owners.
  • Affected property owners may share input at the public hearing. The Board then votes on adopting the Preliminary Assessment Roll. If accepted by a Board majority, it is provided to the Catawba County Tax Office for collection.
  • Assessment notices are mailed to each affected property owner stating their amount due. The property owner may choose to pay the amount in full without interest or pay it in installments over ten years with interest.

Step 7: Acceptance*

  • The project’s acceptance into NCDOT’s Secondary Road Maintenance Program is voted on by the NCDOT Board of Transportation.

*This step is dependent on the timing of NCDOT Board meetings and generally takes place after the Board of Commissioners’ assessment hearing.