Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SIDs)

Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SIDs) are formed to provide basic services for a new housing development, such as electric service, sewer and water services, sidewalks, roads, etc. The developers and homeowners residing in an SID are elected to a two-year term on their five-member Board of Trustees.

Learn more about Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SIDs) by reading the information below.

Responsibilities of an SID


  • Electric service lines and conduits
  • Sewer systems
  • Water systems
  • Emergency management warning systems
  • Systems of sidewalks, public roads, streets, highways, public waterways, docks, wharfs, and related appurtenances

Contracts For:

  • Water for fire protection and for resale to residents of the district
  • Police protection and security services
  • Access to the facilities and use of the services of the library system of one or more neighboring cities or villages
  • Gas and electricity for street lighting for the public streets and highways within such proposed district
  • The construction of dikes and levees for flood protection for the district
  • The acquiring, improving, and operating public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities

How SIDs Are Governed

A five-member Board of Trustees governs an SID. Board members appoint a Chairman and a Clerk of the SID. They are responsible for construction and maintenance of public improvements and planning and maintaining the financial well-being of the SID, including setting its tax rate. They are not responsible for making laws or ordinances. The Board of Trustees make decisions using the advice of legal, accounting, brokerage, and engineering professionals.

SID Elections

Election Process

  • Date of Election
    • The first election is held at least 15 months after the SID's formation.
    • After the first election, elections are held once every two years.
    • Elections are held on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in September.
  • Ballots
    • SID elections are conducted by mail.
    • Ballots are mailed at least 20 days prior to the election to property owners.
    • Members of the Board of Trustees are typically elected from two ballots.
      • Ballot 1 is voted by property owners residing within the district (resident property owners).
      • Ballot 2 is voted by all property owners residing within or outside the district (resident and non-resident property owners).
  • Number of Trustees Elected from each Ballot
    • During the first election and the election held two years after, all five trustees are elected by all property owners from Ballot 2.
    • During the election held four years after the first election, two trustees are elected from Ballot 1, and three trustees are elected from Ballot 2.
    • During the election held six years after the first election, three trustees are elected from Ballot 1, and two trustees are elected from Ballot 2.
    • If 90 percent of an SID is used for commercial property, five trustees are elected from Ballot 2 during the first election and each election thereafter.
  • Number of Votes
    • A property owner receives one vote for each platted lot that they own and one vote for each acre of unplatted land or a fraction thereof.
    • If there are multiple owners on the deed, only one property owner will be able to cast the ballot.
  • Ballot Return Deadline

Candidate Filing for a SID

  • Office Information
    • Nonpartisan office.
    • All five members of the board serve a two-year term.
    • Candidate must be an owner of real estate located in the district or shall be a person designated to serve as a representative on the Board of Trustees if the real estate is owned by a limited partnership, general partnership, limited liability company, public, private, or municipal corporation, estate, or trust.
  • Filing Information
    • All candidates must complete an SID Candidate Filing Form. The filing form must be notarized if it is not completed by the candidate at the Election Commission office.
    • Designated representative candidates must provide signed documentation from the property owner stating that they are a designated representative along with the filing form.
    • Completed filing forms need to be received by the Election Commission no later than 50 days prior to the election.

Recall of SID Board Trustee

A member of an SID Board of Trustees can be recalled; however, the recall process cannot be initiated until after the first six months of their term of office, nor can it occur within six months of the end of their term of office. If a recall election has previously failed to remove a board member, another recall effort cannot be initiated for another twelve months.

Principal Circulator

  • Principal circulator is the property owner who files the affidavit.
    • The principal circulator must be a resident property owner (living within the district), if the trustee to be recalled was solely elected by resident property owners on Ballot 1.
    • The principal circulator can be either a resident or non-resident (not living within the district) property owner if the trustee to be recalled was elected by resident and non-resident property owners on Ballot 2.


  • At least one property owner of the district must complete, sign, and file a Recall Affidavit Principal Circulator Form with the Election Commission.
  • Contents of Affidavit
    • Name and address of principal circulator
    • Home and work phone of principal circulator
    • First and last name of the trustee sought to be removed
    • SID number
    • Whether trustee was elected by resident property owners or all property owners
    • A typewritten statement, 60 words or less, explaining the reason(s) for which the recall is sought
    • Requested number of petition pages
    • Principal circulator's notarized signature


  • Principal circulator has 30 days, from the date the petition pages were issued, to gather and submit signatures to the Election Commission.
  • Qualified Petition Signers
    • The petition signers must be resident property owners (living within the district), if the trustee to be recalled was solely elected by resident property owners on Ballot 1.
    • The petition signers can be either resident or non-resident (not living within the district) property owners if the trustee to be recalled was elected by resident and non-resident property owners on Ballot 2.
  • The number of petition signatures required to hold a recall election is at least 35 percent of the total votes cast for the highest vote getter in the previous election for that SID on that same ballot that the trustee to be recalled was elected from.

Signature Verification

  • The Election Commission has 15 days to determine whether there are a sufficient number of signatures to hold a recall election.
  • If there are sufficient signatures, the trustee has five days after receiving notice from the Election Commission to resign from office, otherwise a recall election will be held.
  • If there are not sufficient signatures to force a recall election, the trustee will remain in office; however, another recall petition may be filed as long as all other requirements are met.

Recall Election

  • If a recall election needs to be held, it will be scheduled to occur between 45 and 60 days after the trustee has declined to resign (or has not responded within the required five day period).
    • If the SID already has an election scheduled to occur within 120 days after the trustee has declined to resign, then the recall will be held in conjunction with the previously scheduled election.