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Utilities and Public Works FAQ's

  • There is a problem with a streetlight pole in my neighborhood. What should I do?

    The City of Howell has been working with Detroit Edison’s Community Lighting group to expedite the repair and maintenance of the streetlights in our community. In the event of a streetlight outage, please call the City of Howell’s Department of Public Works at 517-546-7510, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the following information:

                1.  A specific streetlight location (i.e., in nearest cross roads, nearby business, etc.)

                2. Whether the pole is wooden or metal.

                3. The streetlight pole number (For metal poles it is located at the base of the streetlight  pole. For wood poles it is located approximately eight feet up the pole).

                4. Details about the outage (i.e., Light off during the night, light turns on and off at night, light stays on during the day, etc.).

    In cases where a pole as been knocked down or any other emergency, please call Detroit Edison at 1-800-477-4747.

  • I have a large item to dispose. Can I put it out with my regular trash?

    Yes, each week one bulky item is permitted free of charge to be placed at the curb for pick up on your scheduled day.  Note:  Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, etc. must have Freon removed with certification
    Items that can not be handled by two people will not be taken.

  • I will be re-carpeting my house. Does the old carpet/pad fall into the “Bulky Item” disposal listed under City Services?

    Yes, carpet must be cut into 4' rolls, amount equivalent to one room per week.  Carpet rolls that can not be handled by two people will not be taken.

  • How do I dispose of building materials?

    With so many hazardous materials found in building materials, the City will not accept building materials at the curb. Residents are asked to make sure their contractors properly dispose of all building materials and construction debris as part of their project.

  • What day is my trash day?

    Residents on the East side of Michigan Avenue, except East Grand River Avenue, will be picked up each Monday.

    Residents on the West side of Michigan Avenue, East and West Grand River Avenue and Rolling Oaks Subdivision, will be picked up each Tuesday.

  • Is my trash day delayed due to holidays?

    If a major holiday falls on a Monday, residents with Monday pick up will have their trash collected on Tuesday and residents with Tuesday pick up will have their trash collected on Wednesday.

    If a major holiday falls on a Tuesday, residents with Monday pick up will experience no change and collection will remain on Monday.  Residents with Tuesday pick up will have their trash collected on Wednesday.

    Major holidays include: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

  • My trash/recyclables/yard waste wasn’t picked-up.  What should I do?

    You must contact the Department of Public Works at (517) 546-7510 as soon as possible for assistance.

  • Does the City have a recycling program?

    Yes. The City has a curb side program.  Recyclables are picked up every other week with your regular rubbish pick-up. Please refer to your City calendar or our web calendar for pick-up dates. Click HERE for complete program information.

    Curbside Clothing, Shoe and Home Good Recycling, available through Simple Recycling

  • What is yard waste?

    Yard waste is organic material that can be broken down by oxidation. Some  examples  are:

    ·        Grass clippings

    ·        Leaves

    ·        Twigs and branches

    ·        Fruit and vegetables scraps

    ·        Dead weeds and garden plants

    Composting yard waste diverts the materials away from landfills, which are  becoming short in supply. It also eliminates the need for yard waste burning.  This promotes a cleaner, healthier environment. Composted yard waste is an  effective fertilizer and suppresses plant disease, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It also aerates the soil, acting as an anti-erosion agent.

    Please click HERE for complete Yard Waste program information.

  • Where can I purchase yard waste bags?

    Yard waste bags made of biodegradable kraft paper and can be purchased from any retailer.  

  • What is the Street Leaf Collection Program all about?

    Every year the Department of Public Works mobilizes to collect leaves from City streets. Please click HERE for complete program information.

  • What is the City’s policy on trimming trees owned by the City,  growing in the right-of-way next to city streets?

    The trees found in the grassy area between the street and sidewalk or within any City Right of Way are City owned trees. The Department of Public Works is responsible for the maintaining, trimming, and if necessary, removal of these trees.  The City has an annual tree trimming and removal program that is contracted yearly.  For more information contact Ervin Suida, DPW Superintendent at (517) 546-7510.

  • Does the City offer wood chips and leaf mulch to its residents?

    Yes. From tree trimming operations and the Street Leaf Collection Program the City has a substantial amount of wood chips and leaf mulch to offer residents  and non-residents alike. Both the wood chips and the leaf mulch are free to  residents and $35 for non-residents.  Please call the DPW at 517) 546-7510 for more information.

  • If have seen signs around town that say the City of Howell is a Tree City USA. What does this mean?

     The City of Howell has been named a Tree City USA by The National Arbor Day Foundation.  Since 1988 the City of Howell has received this national  recognition. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day  Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. To become a Tree City USA, the City must have a  tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community  forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance.

    More than ever, today we understand the importance of trees to our cities and towns. Trees help clean our air and water, moderate heat and cold, and bring warmth and grace   to our homes. The City is proud to be a part of this important national program. For more information on the Tree City USA  program, contact Erv Suida at the DPW (517) 546-7510.

  • I would like to do work in the public right-of-way. Do I need to get permission?

    Yes, a Right-of-Way (ROW) permit is required. Examples of type of work include sidewalks, driveways, irrigation systems, planting of trees, and landscaping. Please contact our Project Technician for more information at (517) 546-7510.

  • Who is responsible for City sidewalk repairs?

    Normally the City and the adjacent property owner equally share responsibility for repair of imperfections in the City sidewalk. If residents see and wish to report dangerous sidewalks due to tree roots, concrete settlement, or concrete cracking, please contact the  Department of Public Works at (517) 546-7510.

    The City can spend only a limited amount of money on sidewalk repairs/ replacements and approve the annual budgets. To temporarily patch the damaged walk, asphalt will be  placed to minimize the hazard. When funding is secured the sidewalk will be replaced as  part of an annual sidewalk replacement program.

     If residents driving over sidewalk with construction equipment damage the sidewalk, the  resident will be expected to pay the replacement cost.

  • How often do I get a water bill?

    Residents receive a water bill every other month.

  • Where can I pay my water bill?

    You can pay in person at City Hall, by mail, on-line (with a convenience fee) or you can utilize the drop box in the City Hall lobby.

  • How do I schedule a final water meter reading?

    When moving from a house or apartment, water customers are asked to contact the Water Department by calling (517) 546-3500 to schedule a final water meter reading.

  • Who do I call for after-hours Water or Sewer emergencies?

    You will need to call 9-1-1 for assistance.

  • Where can I find information about what is in my water?

    We are committed to providing you safe, reliable, and healthy water. We are pleased to  provide you with this information to keep you fully informed about your water. Please  click HERE to view the current Annual Water Quality Report. For more information about your water, or the contents of this report, please call the Water Treatment Plant at (517) 546-5309.

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  • What portion of the sanitary sewer is the property owner responsible for?

    Property owners are responsible for the portion of the sewer that services their private property, this is typically from their home to the sanitary sewer main. The City is responsible for the sanitary main that serves all public sewer leads within that area. 

  • I have seen signs that say, “Entering Wellhead Protection Area.” What does this mean?

    We expect clear and clean drinking water when we turn on the tap. The groundwater that  supplies public water supply wells comes from the rain and snow that falls to the ground. This water then seeps into the ground and moves toward public water supply wells.

    Like water, pollutants can also seep into the ground and threaten public water supply wells. Wellhead protec-tion planning is one way to ensure that our community has a  long-term source of clean water. Wellhead protection is a pre-ventive program designed to  protect public groundwater supply systems from contamination. 

    The objective of  wellhead protection is to prevent contaminants from entering the public water supply wells by managing the land that contributes water to the wells. Protecting the  groundwater for the future is a wise, cost-effective step which saves money for the  community and provides for the protection of the public health and environment.

    A  wellhead protection area is that part of the land that contributes water to a well and has the potential to contaminate the well. An active wellhead protection program identifies areas that contribute water to public water supply wells, potential sources of contamination within those areas, and educates residents on developing best management  practices that minimize threats to public water supplies.

    Currently, the City of Howell  and Marion, Howell, Oceola and Genoa (MHOG) Townships have established two well head protection areas and is the first community to have their plans approved. Please  click HERE for Livingston County’s Environmental Awareness Handbook or click HERE for the State of Michigan Wellhead Protection Program information.