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DPW monthly report (May)

By DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott

Public Works performed monthly brush pickup and weekly yard waste pickup for this month. Maintenance work at the Wells Road lot was also done. Fisher Contracting dropped off some concrete rubble and spoil dirt from the Michigan Avenue lift station project. Woodbridge contracting also dropped off concrete rubble. Public Works has this material crushed into road gravel on about 10-year intervals. This material is then used on City streets and projects at a cost savings.

Calvin Martyn was recently licensed as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator and began weed spraying operations on roadsides throughout town. This helps with street sweeping by eliminating weeds in the gutter area.

Met with and corresponded with contractor on Michigan Avenue lift station issues and coordinated with Gratiot County Road Commission on Cheesman Road bridge rehab. Several residents have called with questions.

Developed contract and solicited five contractors for the 2021 street paving project which includes North Union Road near the prisons, Whitney Place near the old Tacho’s Restaurant, North Main Street from Prospect to the city limits and North Union Street from I&K to the city limits. Bid opening is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 13.

Worked on the W.T. Morris swimming pool project, solicited repair contractor, cleaned pool basin and began interior painting and finishing touches. 

Worked with Water Department staff on miscellaneous items. Provided signed proposal for contractor to begin work as soon as possible.

Developed contract and coordinated with sidewalk contractor for the M46 enhancement area sidewalk rehab project. Contractor states he can finish it by July 1. 

Met with the Pastor of Parkside Assembly of God concerning a trip and fall on a sidewalk near the church. The sidewalk will be replaced as soon as possible with the M46 project. DPW has painted and coned the area temporarily until work is done.

DPW responded to sanitary sewer backups on Corinth Street (jetted main and cut roots), South Delaware Street (2 homes) where DPW staff retrieved a plastic toy train that was blocking the flow of the sewer main.

DPW completed spring work at the cemetery, topsoiling/seeding new graves, trimming, picking up branches and trash pickup. No. 1 seasonal employee at the cemetery is quarantined for two weeks, but the mowing crew is picking up the slack and mowing as needed. Having things ready for Memorial Day should not be an issue. We did have complaints from the families of two newly buried individuals that were unhappy about mowers driving over their graves. We told the families that we would not drive over the graves until grass grew in but then we must mow over them as we do with thousands of other graves. 

DPW worked on patching potholes on local streets, replaced several street signs, installed “no backing into spots” signs, and handicap parking signs in the downtown area. We also completed the pavement and curb painting project. 

Public Works mowing staff have been mowing city parks, lots, properties and right of ways throughout town. Mowing staff also help us keep up with trash pickup and trimming. 

Flowerpots have been redone as the Flower Committee requested and set out for the flowers to be put in when they are ready. Two new flowerpots and new plaques have been set out to replace ones destroyed by a car last fall. Work on the S Main flowerbeds is scheduled for next week and planting on May 22.

DPW staff worked on miscellaneous equipment needs, prepping the watering trailer and Gator, repaired a broken hose on the sewer truck and mower maintenance. Work was done to refit the weed spraying tank to work in truck No. 63.

Coordinated with Gratiot County Road Commission on road work on North State Street and Riverside Drive. 

Removed scrub brush on the riverbank at Leppien Park and completed pavilion electrical project. Rentals scheduled starting May 29.

Attended retirement party for Bob Studt, long time Public Works Superintendent at the City of Ithaca. Bob was excellent to work with collaborating with St Louis DPW often. A card and best wishes were given.

Monitored Clapp Park for vandalism issues. Has been much better for the last few weeks. DPW has plans to do some painting and repairs at the pavilion this summer.

Ordered a basketball goal for new court planned for Lincoln Park. Provided contractor signed proposal and approved to start as soon as possible. Contractor thought he could begin in May or June. 

Shrubs in the parking lot south of Center Street had become overgrown and were removed last fall. DPW will install new landscape stone to match other lots to reduce hand mowing and trimming in that area.

All DPW staff attended safety training at the Michigan Chloride brine well on Lewis Road to obtain permission to self-load our tank truck. Public Works uses this for dust control on gravel streets and ice control in the winter. The new dump truck that is on order will also use the same liquid chloride for winter maintenance.

Reviewed safety trainings with staff as reminders for personal protective gear and reflective safety vest. New vests are emblazoned with “ST LOUIS PUBLIC WORKS” on the back for positive identification.

Reviewed Covid safety with staff due to cemetery staff quarantine. 

Performed all office duties and correspondence for Public Works.

Attended 3 webinars for street asset management.

Attended city council, parks board, and manager meetings.

Coordinated with public schools for West State Street project.

Installed no parking signs on Maple Street.

Worked with Consumers Energy on locating a gas valve. New sidewalk was removed but will be replaced at Consumers Energy’s expense.

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