Nebraska Revised Statute 17-509

Chapter 17


Streets and malls; power to improve; districts.

The governing body of any city of the second class or village may grade, partially or to an established grade, change grade, curb, recurb, gutter, regutter, pave, gravel, regravel, macadamize, remacadamize, widen or narrow streets or roadways, resurface or relay existing pavement, or otherwise improve any streets, alleys, public grounds, public ways, entirely or partially, and streets which divide the city or village corporate limits and the area adjoining the city or village; construct or reconstruct pedestrian walks, plazas, malls, landscaping, outdoor sprinkler systems, fountains, decorative water ponds, lighting systems, and permanent facilities; and construct sidewalks and improve the sidewalk space. These projects may be funded at public cost or by the levy of special assessments on the property especially benefited in proportion to such benefits, except as provided in sections 19-2428 to 19-2431. The governing body may by ordinance create improvement districts, to be consecutively numbered, which may include two or more connecting or intersecting streets, alleys, or public ways, and may include two or more types of improvements authorized under this section in a single district in one proceeding. All of the improvements which are to be funded by a levy of special assessment on the property especially benefited shall be ordered as provided in sections 17-510 to 17-512, unless the governing body improves a street which divides the city or village corporate area and the area adjoining the city or village. Whenever the governing body of any city of the second class or village improves any street which divides the city or village corporate limits and the area adjoining the city or village, the governing body shall determine the sufficiency of petition as set forth in section 17-510 by the owners of the record title representing more than sixty percent of the front footage of the property directly abutting upon the street to be improved, rather than sixty percent of the resident owners. Whenever the governing body shall deem it necessary to make any of the improvements authorized under this section on a street which divides the city or village corporate limits and the area adjoining the city or village, the governing body shall by ordinance create the improvement district pursuant to section 17-511 and the right of remonstrance shall be limited to owners of record title, rather than resident owners.


  • Laws 1879, § 69, IV, p. 211;
  • Laws 1881, c. 23, § 8, IV, p. 173;
  • Laws 1885, c. 20, § 1, IV, p. 163;
  • Laws 1887, c. 12, § 7, IV, p. 292;
  • Laws 1903, c. 20, § 1, IV, p. 163;
  • Laws 1909, c. 22, § 1, p. 191;
  • Laws 1911, c. 21, § 1, p. 138;
  • R.S.1913, § 5110;
  • Laws 1915, c. 92, § 1, p. 232;
  • Laws 1917, c. 102, § 1, p. 267;
  • Laws 1919, c. 50, § 1, p. 144;
  • C.S.1922, § 4283;
  • Laws 1923, c. 135, § 1, p. 300;
  • Laws 1927, c. 42, § 1, p. 176;
  • C.S.1929, § 17-432;
  • Laws 1933, c. 136, § 20, p. 529;
  • C.S.Supp.,1941, § 17-432;
  • R.S.1943, § 17-509;
  • Laws 1969, c. 92, § 1, p. 456;
  • Laws 1979, LB 136, § 3;
  • Laws 1983, LB 94, § 2;
  • Laws 1995, LB 196, § 2;
  • Laws 2017, LB133, § 127.


  • 1. Power to improve

  • 2. Creation of districts

  • 3. Special assessments

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Power to improve

  • General power to pave streets is conferred upon cities of the second class. Elliott v. City of Auburn, 172 Neb. 1, 108 N.W.2d 328 (1961).

  • Cities of second class or villages can pave streets only by legally following one of three applicable methods. Manners v. City of Wahoo, 153 Neb. 437, 45 N.W.2d 113 (1950).

  • A public highway or public way, which a city has power to pave and levy a special assessment to pay the cost thereof, is a public highway within the corporate limits of the city as distinguished from a street, and such highway as is formally or impliedly dedicated to and accepted by the city. City of McCook v. Red Willow County, 133 Neb. 380, 275 N.W. 396 (1937).

  • Where statute authorizes city to pave streets but contains nothing to contrary, there arises an implication that the city is authorized to enter into contracts for the performance of the work and to pay for same by a general tax levy. Daniels v. City of Gering, 130 Neb. 443, 265 N.W. 416 (1936).

  • This section does not apply to nor govern the construction of temporary sidewalks or ungraded and unimproved streets. Whitla v. Connor, 114 Neb. 526, 208 N.W. 670 (1926).

  • City of second class has authority to pave its streets. Rooney v. City of So. Sioux City, 111 Neb. 1, 195 N.W. 474 (1923).

  • 2. Creation of districts

  • The authority of the city will not be extended to include in the improvement a street not within the city limits and not forming a part or connected with state highway. Dorland v. City of Humboldt, 129 Neb. 477, 262 N.W. 22 (1935); Garver v. City of Humboldt, 120 Neb. 132, 231 N.W. 699 (1930).

  • Where three-fourths of the members of the council vote for ordinance creating paving district, the municipality is authorized to contract and appropriate money for grading and paving without vote of people. Wookey v. City of Alma, 118 Neb. 158, 223 N.W. 953 (1929).

  • 3. Special assessments

  • Special assessments are levied on basis of benefits accruing to property and not on basis of cost of improvement immediately in front of property. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co. v. City of Seward, 166 Neb. 662, 90 N.W.2d 282 (1958).

  • Legislative power to make special assessments is to be strictly construed. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co. v. City of Seward, 166 Neb. 123, 88 N.W.2d 175 (1958).

  • Power to levy special assessments is subject to restrictions prescribed by statute. Chicago, St. P., M. & O. Ry. Co. v. City of Randolph, 163 Neb. 687, 81 N.W.2d 159 (1957).

  • Taxing authorities may not separate, reapportion, and reassess special assessments after the same have been once legally assessed without objection. Village of Winside v. Brune, 133 Neb. 80, 274 N.W. 212 (1937).

  • This section does not provide appeal to the district court from acts of the municipal board or council sitting as a board of equalization, but review may be had by error proceedings. Roberts v. City of Mitchell, 131 Neb. 672, 269 N.W. 515 (1936).

  • Property owner has option under statute to pay assessment in installments as they accrue, with interest, or to pay balance of assessment at any time with interest to date. State ex rel. Todd v. Thomas, 127 Neb. 891, 257 N.W. 265 (1934).

  • It is mandatory and jurisdictional that one of the three methods stated be followed before such improvement may be lawfully made and, unless such municipality follows one of the methods, the assessments made are void. Musser v. Village of Rushville, 122 Neb. 128, 239 N.W. 642 (1931).

  • Resolution of necessity is not jurisdictional, nor is the establishment of grade by ordinance required before letting of paving contract. Burrows v. Keebaugh, 120 Neb. 136, 231 N.W. 751 (1930).

  • A municipality may levy a special assessment on adjacent cemetery property to the extent of the benefits conferred therein by the improvement of a street. Greenwood Cemetery v. City of Wayne, 110 Neb. 300, 193 N.W. 734 (1923).

  • If board, in levying assessments to pay for sidewalks, does not take the benefits and damages resulting to the property into account and levies the total cost without regards thereto, the tax is void. Schneider v. Plum, 86 Neb. 129, 124 N.W. 1132 (1910).

  • Estimate of cost by city engineer must be submitted and approved before council can levy special assessment for sidewalk. Moss v. City of Fairbury, 66 Neb. 671, 92 N.W. 721 (1902).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • Where a city issues bonds designated as paving district bonds, and neither the bonds nor the ordinance authorizing them provide that the bonds shall be payable only out of special assessments, the bonds are general obligations of the city which authorize the levy of a general tax to pay the same. Alexander v. Bailey, 108 Neb. 717, 189 N.W. 365 (1922).