Street & Drainage FAQs


 The sidewalk on our street is heaved or cracked. Who's responsible for repairs?

The Street Division is responsible for repairing public sidewalks within the city right of way. If you notice a damaged sidewalk, submit a repair request online or call  the  Streets Division at 231-798-2156. A supervisor will inspect the area and place the damaged location on a schedule to be repair. Due to limited funding, we are only able to repair a limited number of sites every year. Repairs are prioritized by a number of important factors, including the extent of damage and the site's proximity to schools, and other public buildings.  The most hazardous sites are given a higher priority for repairs.

 What are City requirements for working within the right-of-way fronting my residence or business?

An application and permit to construct, operate, use and/or maintain within the right-of-way is required. A surety bond for the amount of $5,000 is to accompany the permit application. There are no fees for the permit. The property owner or his/her contractor must provide a description of the activity or construction on the permit application. Concrete/asphalt Driveway approaches must be constructed to City Standards and a grade or form inspection must be completed by a representative of the Streets Division prior to the pouring of concrete or leveling of asphalt. A permit application and Bond form maybe obtained at City Hall, 4814 Henry Street.

 The storm drain on our street is clogged. Who do I call for repairs?

The Street Division is responsible for maintaining City owned storm drains. Storm drains are inspected and cleaned on a routine schedule to ensure they are in proper condition. Just before the rainy season, all the drains are checked for clearance. If you see a clogged drain or one that may be obstructed by trash or vegetation, submit a Service Request online or call the Streets & Drainage Division at 231-798-2156. Please note: Several drains and drainage channels in the City are part of the Muskegon County Drain Commissioners system and are maintained by County crews. When you call the Streets & Drainage Division, we should be able to tell you if the drain belongs to the City or the County. If the drain belongs to the County, we will notify the County Drain Commissioners office of the request.

 Does the City provide municipal trash service?

No.  It is the responsibility of the resident or business owner to hire a private service to provide trash pick-up.

 Why hasn't my road been graded?

Roads are graded regularly on an as-needed basis.  To request that your road be graded, please call 231-798-2156.

 Why hasn't our street been plowed?

The first priority is to clear and keep cleared, the major streets.  This allows for the safe movement of the greatest volume of traffic.  If the snow event is significant, once it stops or subsides to the point where the major streets are in good condition, we will begin plowing the local streets.  The local street system is divided into eleven districts.  One plow will work a district until it is complete.  With our seven available plows, not all districts are worked on simultaneously.  All of the streets in the city can typically be plowed within eighteen hours.  Depending on the intensity and duration of the snowfall, it may take a significantly longer time to clear all of the streets.  In the interest of conserving available funds, for less significant snowfalls, we will maintain the major streets but we may not plow the local streets at all or, if there is a moderate snowfall without a forecast for more snow, we will plow the local streets using our regular shifts only.

 How can I get a stop sign (or any sign) installed on my streets?

Submit a written request to the Public Works Department at 4814 Henry Street, Norton Shores, MI 49441.  All decisions for sign installation are based on an engineering study per the Michigan Manual of Uniformed Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD) and other State and Federal standards.  If a traffic control sign is warranted, then a traffic control order is issued through the Police Department and the sign(s) installed per MMUTCD.

 How can I get one of those yellow markers (delineators) in front of my home?

My lawn is constantly getting damaged by snow plows. Typically the City places approved delineation devices on corner lots, at the end of curb heads, and along sweeping curves. They have also been installed under certain circumstances where the road edge is hard to distinguish. Residents may request an evaluation of the need for a delineator fronting their home by submitting a service request or by calling 231-798-2156  

 What is the current and upcoming schedule of City construction projects?

View the Road Construction Projects section for a list of current projects.

 How are City construction projects funded?

City construction projects are funded several ways.  Major streets are typically funded through obtaining Federal matching grants.  Local street improvements are paid for through Municipal Street Fund millage.  Water and sewer projects are paid for with water and sewer funds collected through utility fees or with State bond money.  Occasionally construction projects are paid for through a special assessment via resident petition.

 Who can I talk with about a traffic signal?

Call the Public Works Department at 231-799-6803.

 How often does the City perform mowing operations along or within the road right of way?

The City typically mows two to three times per season. Rain fall occurrences dictate the number of mowings. The mowing of open channel drainage ditches is essential in reducing the impediment of vegetation into flow lines. City owned property and parcels are included in the program. Limited funding may limit or change the future mowing program.

 How do I report a dead deer or animal within the road right of way fronting my home?

Residents may submit an online service request to have the dead carcass removed or call 231-798-2156. After hour requests are typically handled through County Police Dispatch.

 Where can I drop off my recycling items?

The City does not maintain a recycling facility.  Residents are encouraged to contact their garbage/waste service to request recycling service if available.

 I live on a private street. What's the difference between private and public streets?

A private street is usually located in a residential area such as a condominium development in which a homeowners' association maintains the grounds and streets. The City cannot make repairs to private streets because they are not located on public property. However, the city does maintain the water supply to private streets.

 Who do I contact for traffic counts?

Call the Public Works Department at 231-799-6803.

 What are the hours and scheduled days for the City leaf/yard waste disposal sites?

Information regarding the Leaf/Yard Waste Disposal sites maybe found on the City web site at  There are two sites in the city, one at the east end of Randall Road at Martin Road, and on Wood Road south of Pontaluna Road.  In the spring, both leaf disposal sites open daily, to City residents only, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. beginning near the end of March and continuing through the week of Memorial Day.  Thereafter, the Wood Road site only will then be open Saturday and Sunday only for the summer months.  The fall schedule runs from about the third week in September until the end of November, with both sites again being open daily 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.  Both sites close for the winter in early December.

 How does the City street sweeping program work?

The street sweeping of Major Road curb, gutter, and bike lanes begins in the spring and continues into late fall. Because of limited Local Street funds, curb radii and gutters are swept at least once each year. 

 What can be taken to the leaf sites?

Bagged leaves only are accepted at the Ross Park site.  Bagged and loose leaves, as well as small brush (less than 3 inches in diameter) are accepted at the Wood Road site.  Bagged leaves must be placed in paper bags.  Plastic bags will not be accepted.  Loads being transported must be tarped or otherwise secured.

 How can I get a drainage problem repaired?

City drainage maintenance is limited to flood control and prevention. As such, City drainage maintenance is restricted to removing major obstructions from drainage areas. Most drainage areas (creeks, etc) are located on private property and are owned by the adjoining home or property owner. As a result, vegetation and erosion control is the responsibility of the individual property owner. To request drainage maintenance, please submit a service request or call 798-2156.

 How do I report a pothole on the street?

All comments, complaints and reports can be filed with the Streets Division at (231) 798-2156.

 Where do I report a streetlight or traffic light outage?

Call the Public Works Department at 799-6803 and we will be happy to report it for you.  We will need to know the address closest to the street light and whether it is totally out, flickers on and off, or stays on all the time.  Please be aware that the City neither owns nor maintains the street lights.  They are owned/maintained by Consumers Energy Company.  You may also contact Consumers Energy directly at 1-800-477-5050 or at their web site,

 How can I get a tree replaced in the right of way that has been removed or lost due to a storm?

The City has a tree planting and replacement program.  Addresses are recorded where a tree has been removed within the road right-of-way.  In late winter or early spring following the year of the tree's removal, a letter is sent to the homeowner inviting their participation in the program.  Homeowners are given a selection of three species that have been identified as being acceptable for the conditions.

 How much will I save with the discount card?

The minimum cost for dumping is as follows:  Car - $6.00 (City cost $5.00/Resident cost $1.00*).  Truck or trailer - $18 (City cost $7.50/Resident cost $10.50*).  *Note:  Any cost over the minimum is the responsibility of the resident.

 My mailbox was knocked down/hit during the plowing of my street. Does the City replace or repair my mailbox?

It is the policy of the City to repair or replace as necessary mailboxes hit by City plows. The replacement mailbox is the standard rural type box and post. It is possible a mailbox can be damaged from the impact of the snow being cast off the plow. In these instances, the property owner is responsible to repair or replace the mailbox. Snow load from the plow is considered a normal occurrence, whereas a direct hit is accepted as City responsibility. A resident may submit a service request or call 231-798-2156  for an employee from the City to investigate your complaint and to make a determination if the box was hit by the plow or failed because of snow weight. Complaints are not investigated until the winter weather has subsided or left the area.

 What steps do I have to take to have trees removed?

Tree concerns within the road right-of-way can be directed to the Streets Division at (231) 798-2156.  A supervisor will assess the tree's condition and make a determination if the tree warrants removal.  Trees are only removed if they are dead, dying or diseased.  The City is under contract with a skilled, insured , and properly equipped professional tree service.  Homeowners are not allowed to contract or personally remove trees within the right-of-way.

 Where do I get a discount card for the "County dump"?

Discount cards for the Muskegon County Solid Waste facility, located at 9366 Apple Avenue, Ravenna, MI 49451, are available to City residents at the Department of Public Works, 4814 Henry Street.