Why doesn't the City just build it?

Kansas law requires a petition to be circulated on most public improvement projects. A petition gives the City Council an indication of support for the project as well as the legal basis to approve it. A valid petition has signatures of over 50% of the number of owners in the improvement district, or signatures representing over 50% of the square footage in the improvement district.

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1. What are Special Assessments and where do they come from?
2. What is an improvement district?
3. Why doesn't the City just build it?
4. Why doesn't the City pay for it?
5. Why wasn't I notified?
6. Why is my assessment higher than my neighbor's?
7. How do I pay the assessment?
8. What if I can't afford the assessment?