I want to hold an event in the right-of-way in Hillsboro. Do I need a permit?
Yes, you will need to apply for a special events permit if you will be closing any public rights-of-way in the City (Washington County and the State of Oregon also have a permitting process for public rights-of-way under their jurisdictions).
Applications are processed by the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department. The application will be reviewed by the Police, Fire and Engineering departments. There is no fee for this permit. Call (503) 681-5240 for more details.
I want to have a block party in my neighborhood. Do I have to apply for a permit?
Yes. You will need to apply for a block party permit. Applications are processed by the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department. The application will be reviewed by the Police, Fire and Engineering departments. There is no fee for this permit. Call (503) 681-5240 for a permit application and additional details.
Sanitary & Storm Fee
What is a storm sewer?
A storm sewer is a pipe or open ditch that carries runoff from storms and surface drainage. Stormwater comes from rain and snowmelt. As the rain falls onto our streets and runs off, it carries with it pollutants such as pet waste, gasoline, oil, and heavy metals. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are washed from lawns and other green spaces. Sediments are eroded by wind and water from construction sites and unvegetated landscape areas. With the passage of time, these pollutants will buildup in our local waterways causing environmental damage.
Why is the sanitary and storm sewer local service fee necessary?
A: The purpose of the local fee is to raise revenues needed to fund:
Continued investment to repair, replace and upgrade aging infrastructure
Compliance with Federal, State and local permit requirements
What is the proposed sanitary and storm sewer fee increase?
For a single family residential customer the proposed fee increase is as follows:
$2.50 per month for the sanitary sewer system
$1.00 per month for the storm sewer system
Is this fee going to increase every year?
No. The fee will be reviewed every 5 years for storm sewer and every 10 years for sanitary sewer.
Is there a way to reduce the fee?
You can reduce sewer charges by using water wisely. Part of your sewer bill is based on the amount of water a household uses. The usage portion of the charge is calculated from the customer’s winter water usage the previous winter months (November-April). By using winter averages, the customer is not charged more in the summer for outdoor watering, since that water doesn’t go into the wastewater system. By conserving water you can lower your sewer bill.
Is there a credit or waiver offered?
The program does not allow credits or waivers. However, the following resources are available for citizens requiring assistance:
Please contact Utility Billing at the City of Hillsboro, (503) 681-6163, to inquire about possible payment arrangements. You may also qualify for payment assistance. To schedule an eligibility-screening appointment with the Salvation Army, please call (503) 640-4311.
When will the fee go into effect?
If approved by City Council, the local service fees go into effect January 1, 2015.
What is a sanitary sewer?
A sanitary sewer is a sealed system of underground pipes that carry used water from bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, and other plumbing components to a wastewater treatment plant where it is filtered, treated and discharged back into the environment.
What is an impervious surface?
Impervious surface means those disturbed or hard surfaced areas that either prevent or restrict the natural absorption of water into the soil. Rooftops, buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, asphalt, concrete, other paving, driveways, gravel, patios, artificial turf and storage areas are all examples of impervious surfaces. The average single family lot has 2,640 square feet of impervious surface area. Impervious areas prevents the natural infiltration of rainfall and results in faster surface runoff which can cause rivers and streams to degrade and erode.
Slurry seals/micro-surfacing are a preventative maintenance procedure that involves spreading a thin layer of asphalt emulsion and fine sands/aggregates over the surface of the street. Like applying paint to the side of your house, a slurry seal/micro-surfacing will fill in small voids and fine cracks and further protect the street from water damage. It can also improve the ability of your car to grip the roadway.
If the road is closed, what happens if there is an emergency?
Emergency vehicles will be accommodated at all times. We do notify 911 daily of the closures. This allows 911 to advise emergency services so that they can avoid the closures if possible. If it is necessary to travel over the uncured slurry seal emergency services will be allowed to do so.
The slurry/micro is scheduled for my garbage day, should I put my garbage out?
Yes, but if possible, please place it out the night before in order to ensure pick up. We attempt to schedule around garbage days however sometimes it is not possible. We work with garbage service providers directly and generally providers will collect garbage on impacted streets first. This may make your pick up earlier than usual.
What about mail service?
Mail service should continue as usual. As with the garbage service providers, the Post Office is notified of the closures so that they can plan their mail delivery accordingly.
Where is my vehicle?
If you left your vehicle on the roadway on the day of work it was likely towed to a storage facility per Hillsboro Municipal Code 8.24.020. You can contact the Public Works Department at (503) 681-6146 to help locate your vehicle. The cost for the tow and storage will be the responsibility of the vehicle owner. The City will make every effort to locate the owner prior to towing a vehicle. If you will be out of town between July 1st and August 31st, please store all of your vehicles on your property in your absence to ensure your vehicles are not towed.
Is this normal? It’s been several weeks since the slurry seal was completed and…
The roadway still seems sticky:
The asphalt emulsion used to bind the sand/aggregate together is an oil product. On a hot day, the oils in the slurry seal soften making the slurry seal seem sticky. Although this occurs on old and new slurry seals, it is more noticeable when the slurry seal is new and the oil is fresh. This will be less noticeable when the weather cools and the oil ages.
There are a lot of rocks on the roadway:
The loss of some sand/aggregate is completely normal. This occurs for various reasons. Primarily it is the result of vehicle tires dislodging the sand/aggregate not needed for filling voids in the underlying asphalt. It is also more common in areas where cars are turning. These loose particles should be picked up as part of the City’s routine sweeping maintenance.
The slurry seal/micro-surfacing appears to be coming up or tearing, especially when vehicles turn on the roadway:
This too is normal, especially where low speed turning movements are occurring and when vehicles need to turn their wheels when the car is not moving (such as backing out of a driveway). Scuffing, as it is called, is common in the first few weeks following a slurry seal and may reappear during periods of hot weather. It does not affect the quality of the finished product.
How do we choose which roads receive maintenance?
The City of Hillsboro Engineering Department routinely inspects all the pavements within the City before deciding what to do and when to do maintenance. The City looks for common distresses such as loss of aggregates, cracks, and distortions to help determine what is going on beneath the pavement as well as the surface of the roadway. The distresses are recorded in a sophisticated computer software program that considers the roads condition, prior maintenance history, and other factors to help determine the most cost-effective treatment and appropriate time to apply the treatment. The City also looks at available funding and other projects in the area that might influence the selection of the roads. There are always more roads that need maintenance than money and as a result, not every roadway that needs maintenance receives it.
Why did you do maintenance on my neighbor’s street when mine is in worse shape?
Maintaining a roadway is much like maintaining the siding on a house. There are things that can be done to make it last longer, but sometimes it just has to be replaced. Keeping up with the preventative maintenance extends the life of the street just as it would siding on your house and is less expensive in the end. The City spends a large portion of our budget on preventative maintenance because we can maintain more miles of roadway in a better condition for longer with fewer funds. Most likely, your street is already beyond this preventative maintenance stage and will require a more extensive (and more costly) repair. A portion of our annual budget is set aside for this type of work however, it will take time for the City to accomplish all of the more costly repairs that are needed.
What are the different maintenance treatments the City uses?
Crack Sealing and Asphalt Replacement: Crack sealing and asphalt replacement is a preventative maintenance procedure that involves the sealing of cracks and and replacing damaged areas of pavement. It is much like caulking seams and replacing poor sections in siding at home. It prevents water from getting into and destroying the asphalt and surface below and helps extend the life of the asphalt.
Slurry Seals: Slurry seals are also a preventative maintenance procedure that involves spreading a thin layer of asphalt emulsion and fine sands/aggregates over the surface of the street. Like applying paint to the side of your house, a slurry seal will fill in fine cracks and further protect the street from water damage. It can also improve the ability of your car to grip the roadway. Slurry seals are generally applied to local residential streets.
Micro Surfacing: Also a preventative maintenance procedure, micro surfacing is very similar to a slurry seal. Because of changes in the asphalt emulsion it can be applied much thicker than a slurry seal. This allows it to correct problems such as rutting and potholes. Micro surfacing is generally applied to major roadways.
Asphalt Overlays: An asphalt overlay is done when preventative maintenance just cannot fix the defects in the street. The City may have an existing layer of asphalt removed by grinding or milling the surface first, or may just apply the new asphalt over the old asphalt. Either way the street looks brand new when the work is complete.
How will I know when the work is to be completed?
For all types of maintenance, the contractor is required to place “NO PARKING” signs along the streets at least 36 hours in advance of work. The signs will indicate a date or dates for which the parking prohibition is in affect. Work will be completed on those dates unless there is a need to change the schedule due to weather or unforeseen equipment issues. The contractor is required to repost these signs should rescheduling be necessary.
In addition to the “NO PARKING” signs, if your street is receiving a slurry seal, micro surfacing, or an overlay, the contractor is required to place a door hanger on your door. This door hanger will provide additional information and list the dates of planned work.
Will I still be able to get to my home while they are doing maintenance?
If your street is receiving an overlay, micro surfacing, crack seals or asphalt replacements every effort is made to maintain access to your home or business. There are brief periods, when the asphalt or micro surfacing has just been placed and is extremely hot or sticky, that the contractor may close access to your home or business. This is for your benefit as well as the benefit of the road. Emergency access will be maintained at all times. Still, we recommend that if you have pressing appointments, you park your vehicle on a nearby street where work is not planned to ensure you will be able to leave when necessary.
If your street is receiving a slurry seal, it will be necessary to close off access to your home by vehicle for the day. A slurry seal needs several hours to cure before vehicle traffic can be placed on it. Access to the roadways will be shut off at 7 am in the mornings and the roadways will not be reopened until they have completely dried. This should be no later than 5 pm. If you need to leave your residence that day by vehicle, you will need to park your vehicle on a nearby street before 7 am. Emergency access will still be maintained at all times.
How is the street maintenance program funded?
The annual street maintenance program is funded through a mixture of the Transportation Utility Fee, Gas Taxes, and the Oregon Transportation Improvement Act.
Who can I contact for additional information?
If you have additional questions contact the City of Hillsboro Engineering Department at 503-681-6146.
Transportation Utility Fee
What is the proposed Transportation Utility Fee and what will it be used for?
The proposed Transportation Utility Fee is a monthly user fee based on the use of the road system by residents, businesses, government agencies, schools and non-profits. Money collected from the fee will be used for street maintenance. (Types of Street Maintenance) The City estimates that it will take $4 million per year, adjusted for inflation, to clear our street maintenance backlog by 2022.
Were citizens involved in developing the proposed Transportation Utility Fee?
A citizen task force (Transportation Funding Committee)was appointed in April 2007 to consider how much money the proposed fee should raise, how the proposed fee should be divided between residential and non-residential customers, and how and if the proposed fee should be adjusted.
The recommendations of the task force were forwarded to the Transportation Committee for review on May 6. A public hearing on the Transportation Utility Fee took place at the June 17 City Council meeting.
Why is a Transportation Utility Fee needed?
This fee will be used for the maintenance and repair of streets under the City of Hillsboro’s jurisdiction. (Street Maintenance Projects) Preventative maintenance can extend the life of a street to 30 years or more. Restoration of pavement near the end of a street’s service life will typically cost 4 to 5 times more than preventative maintenance performed in a timely manner. The longer we wait to take care of our streets, the more they will cost to repair.
Why is more money needed to repair and maintain streets?
As streets age, they require maintenance. Like so many things, maintenance costs have been increasing at 10% or more per year. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, many new streets were developed that are now in need of maintenance. The growing need for street maintenance coupled with increased costs has outpaced available revenues.
(Street Maintenance Projects) The cost to repair our current backlog for street maintenance is approximately $10 million. Without additional funds, we will fall further behind and the cost will continue to increase. The longer the maintenance is deferred, the more it costs. A delay of even a few years can double the cost of a maintenance project.
What will the gas tax be used for?
Gas tax revenue will continue to fund the day to day operations like sign and striping projects and pot hole filling. The portion of gas tax currently used to fund our street maintenance program will be replaced by the Transportation Utility Fee. That part of the gas tax will be redirected to add sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street lighting, striping and curb ramps where needed.
An integrated system of sidewalks and bike paths to serve the entire community is a strategy in Hillsboro 2020 Vision.
How much can I expect to pay and how will I be billed?
The proposed user fee will be collected through your utility billing statement. Each residential unit pays a flat fee of $6.10 per month. Apartment complex owners will be charged $5.49 for every unit in the complex. Businesses, government agencies, schools and non-profits will pay based on the number of trips generated by their employees, vendors and customers. Most people receive their utility bill every other month. Because the proposed fee will be collected through utility bills, residents will be charged $12.20 on each bill because the utility bill covers a two month cycle. The same may apply to businesses, government agencies, schools and non-profits.
Is this fee going to increase every year?
In 2015, the City Council approved a series of annual increases intended to fund the pavement management program. These increases are scheduled to occur on April 1 of each year.
Single Family Rate:
April 1 ,2017: $7.56
April 1, 2018: $8.16
April 1, 2019: $8.79
Multi Family Rate:
April 1, 2017: $6.81
April 1, 2018: $7.34
April 1, 2019: $7.91
How was the number of trips for a single family home determined?
Traffic engineers rely on a “Trip Generation” manual recommended by the Institute of Transportation Engineers to figure out traffic impact to streets. Based on studies, the manual concludes that single family homes generate, on average, 9 to 10 one-way vehicle trips per day. Below are some examples of the types of daily activities that generate trips that use our streets whether they are done by bus, car or truck.
Leaving and returning from work (2 one-way trips)
Taking a child to school in the morning and returning to pick them up in the afternoon (4 one-way trips)
Trip to and from shopping (2 one-way trips)
Trip to and from church (2 one-way trips)
Local deliveries and service providers (U.S. Mail, Fed Ex, Trash/ recycle pick-up)
Trip to and from the doctor/pharmacy (2 one-way trips)
Trip to and from a restaurant of any type (2 one-way trips)
Trip to and from the recreation center or exercise facility (2 one-way trips)
How can I lower my fee?
Under certain circumstances, based on program eligibility, the Transportation Utility Fee can be lowered or waived. Discount and waiver programs exist for both residential and non residential customers. For more information, please call (503) 681-6146.
Who can I contact with questions about the TRANSPORTATION UTILITY FEE?