Minnesota Department of Transportation

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State Aid for Local Transportation

Procedure to become a MSAS city

Procedure to become a MSAS city

A new MSAS city is determined by statutory authority. The statutory authority to create and administrate the MSAS system resides in state statutes 162.09 thru 162.18.

State statute 162.09 Sub. 4 states:

In determining whether any city has a population of 5,000 or more, the last federal census shall be conclusive, except as otherwise provided in this subdivision


(c) The population of a city that is not receiving a municipal state street fund apportionment shall be determined, upon request of the city, by the most recent population estimate of the metropolitan council or state demographer. A municipal state aid street fund apportionment received by the city must be based on this population estimate until the next federal decennial census or special census.

The Municipal screening board resolutions state, in part:

That beginning with the calendar year 1996, the MSAS population apportionment shall be determined using the latest available federal census or population estimates of the State Demographer and/or the Metropolitan Council. However, no population shall be decreased below that of the latest available federal census, and no city dropped from the MSAS eligible list based on population estimates.

The city is notified by the Metropolitan Council, or the State Demographer’s Office that the most recent population estimate has estimated their population to be over 5,000. The city should then contact their MnDOT DSAE to inform him that they now qualify to be included as an MSAS city and that they wish to be included in the next MSAS allocation.

The city must designate a city engineer. The DSAE will set up a meeting with the city engineer to discuss the steps that follow and provide them with the training and/or assistance they need to be able to complete all the requirements. The DSAE would also at that time give them input into how they select their routes.

The next step the city needs to take is to fill out the Certificate of Mileage form (Excel). This form MUST be filled out to proceed with the process of becoming an MSAS city. This form is used to determine the maximum miles a city is allowed to designate as MSAS. Use the Line by Line Instructions (PDF) while you fill out the Certificate of Mileage Form. Send the form via e-mail to your DSAE to be reviewed and to verify that it has been filled out correctly.

Next, the city engineer must draw their proposed MSAS system on a map. The city engineer then meets with the DSAE to review it. The county engineer should be included in the meeting if any CSAH are affected by MSAS designations.

After the DSAE has recommended approval of the proposed MSAS system from the local perspective, they send it to the Needs unit at the MnDOT central office to review from a system wide perspective.

After the Needs unit manager recommends approval of the request, it is reviewed by the State Aid Engineer who has final approval.

After the State Aid engineer approves it, the Needs manager assigns route numbers to the segments and sends the approval letter to the city engineer and DSAE.

After the city engineer receives the assigned route numbers, they can begin to input the Needs into the Needs program. The Needs have to be input in the program and submitted to the DSAE by December 1. If this does not happen, the city will have its Needs determined by using the lowest cost per mile of any other city.

After the system has been approved by the State Aid engineer, the system can be presented to the city council and a resolution can be passed. If any CSAH or county roads are affected, a county board resolution and concurring city council resolution must be submitted. After all required resolutions are received by the MSAS Needs Unit, the Commissioner’s Order, which verifies system approval, will be written.

The city’s allocation is divided into construction and maintenance accounts. Unless the city engineer notifies the Needs office differently, the minimum of $1,500 per improved MSAS mile will be used to calculate the maintenance apportionment.