Department of Public Works

The Department of Public Works and Engineering, headed by Mr. Jerry Bartoszek, is responsible for roadway improvements and maintenance, bridge maintenance, water and sewer line installation and billing, traffic signal installation and operation, maintenance of drainage systems, and requests for street light installation.  This department works with private developers, the Muskegon County Road Commission, and the Michigan Department of Transportation on design and construction for the improvement of roads and streets in the City, as well as their general maintenance.  The department has also made arrangements with the Muskegon County Solid Waste facility to allow Norton Shores residents to deposit unwanted items at the facility at a reduced fee.

The Planning and Zoning Division is lead by Mr. Robert Bilkie.  As the City Planner and Zoning Administrator he is responsible for the enforcement of all provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, and reviews and processes through the Planning Commission, City Council and Zoning Board of Appeals all site plan, special use permit, zone change, variance and land division applications.  He also assists the Planning Commission and City Council with periodic updates of the City's Master Plan, Open Space and Recreation Plan, and Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

The Water and Sewer Division, headed by Mr. Matt Anderson, takes care of all work related to the City's water and sanitary sewer systems.  Water and Sewer crews maintain 44 sewer lift stations throughout the City, repair water main breaks, install water taps and water meters in newly constructed residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, inspect water and sewer lines, replace malfunctioning water meters, install separate irrigation meters when requested, take quarterly water meter readings in three sections of the City, and monitor water quality standards for the City.  This division also keeps current records for the discount on water bills for senior citizens.

Streets and Drainage Superintendent, Bryan DeGroot, supervises the many tasks assumed by the Streets and Drainage Division.  These include street maintenance and sweeping, snow plowing, gravel road brining applications, brush and tree trimming, maintenance of storm sewers, drains and culverts, issuance of driveway and work-in-right-of-way permits, operation of two leaf disposal sites, installation and repair of street signs, removal of downed tree branches that may land in the City's right-of-way or block traffic, and City vehicle maintenance and repair.

Maintenance of the Municipal Building, the Branch Library on Seminole Road, and the cemetery on Airport Road falls under the jurisdiction of the Building and Grounds Division.  The Building and Grounds crew, led by Mr. Scott Ellison, handles a multitude of jobs throughout the City including painting, minor structural, electrical and plumbing repairs, mowing, raking, snow plowing, set-up of voting machines, record keeping for the cemetery and preparations for funeral burials.

The Engineering Division is lead by Mr. Jim Murphy.  Mr. Murphy oversees all of the major public infrastructure design and construction within the city.  He also reviews all private development plans for conformance with the City's policies and design standards.

How do I winterize my water system?

It's time to check your plumbing system to make sure it doesn't freeze during extreme cold.

  • Holes in basements and crawl spaces should be plugged and insulated to prevent cold air from causing pipes to freeze.
  • Heat tape can prevent pipes from freezing, but if the tape is not properly installed, or if the plastic insulation is cracked or missing due to age, it can be a fire hazard.
  • If heat tape is used, it should be checked annually before it is activated for the season.
  • Persons with separate irrigation meter pits need to call City Hall to have these shut off by the Water and Sewer personnel.
  • Residents who winter in warmer climates may wish to have the City shut off water to prevent potential damage resulting from pipes breaking during freezing weather.  Having the water shut off will also avoid the City sending a bill for estimated usage.

How do I make my street safer in winter?

  • Use caution when approaching a snowplow.  Snow dust created by plows reduces visibility for both the motorist and plow driver.
  • Occasionally, a plow may need to back up.  during this operation visibility for driver is limited.  Please maintain a safe distance during this procedure.
  • Avoid piling snow at driveway entrances or intersections, as it impairs visibility.
  • Keep the area around fire hydrants clear of snow.  In case of fire, every minute counts.
  • Avoid parking within six feet of the paved edge of the road.  This will allow plow drivers to plow the entire street, and do so without throwing debris on your vehicle.