Insco Provides Progress Summary for Department of Public Works

Updated 26 weeks ago Edited from City of Huntington Press Release

Public Works Director Jim Insco presented his 2019-2020 budget to City Council this evening. Insco highlighted the work performed by the men and women of the department, which consists of eight divisions. Here’s a summary of the progress that has been made by many of those divisions:

INSPECTIONS/PERMITS: The Code Enforcement Unit falls under this division. The city’s three code enforcement officers are issuing 130-150 warnings per week on average, resulting in a compliance rate in excess of 80 percent, Insco said.

MOTOR POOL: The Motor Pool Division, or city garage, has eight employees and is responsible for maintaining 454 pieces of equipment and vehicles. These employees have increased their training through various programs in recent years, resulting in less than 15 percent of repairs having to be outsourced, Insco said.

TRAFFIC ENGINEERING: The Traffic Engineering Division has six employees. This division is responsible for various duties, such as maintaining more than 8,000 traffic signals; maintaining all street marker and traffic signage on city roadways; delivering barricades for special events such as parades, 5K runs and block parties; and installing Christmas lights and hanging flower baskets in the downtown.

STREETS: With 15 employees, this division is responsible for maintaining 420 miles of roadways and alleys in the city. This division used more than 50 tons of “cold patch” on potholes this winter. It is also the division that oversees the successful sidewalk replacement program. Under this program, the city provides the labor while the property owner only pays for the materials. Since the program launched two years ago, it has resulted in more than 1.3 miles of new sidewalks. The budget for this program is also proposed to increase from $100,000 to $250,000 next fiscal year.

The Streets Division also has a full-time tree-cutting crew and is the division that handles snow and ice removal with the city’s fleet of seven plows and six salt spreaders. This division also handles many bank stabilization projects throughout the city.

As for paving, the city has provided funding for 35.7 miles of paving since 2013. The city has budgeted $1.6 million for paving this current fiscal year. Insco said that milling for this year’s paving projects is expected to begin at the end of this month. Approximately 4.5-5 miles of roadways will be paved this spring. Another $1.6 million has been budgeted for paving in the next fiscal year.

BUILDING MAINTENANCE: The Building Maintenance Division has four employees who maintain 14 buildings. They are skilled in drywall, electrical, plumbing, flooring, painting, and carpentry.

TRASH AND SANITATION: With 34 budgeted positions, this division handles all of the household garbage and loose trash pickup in the city. Crews haul away 65 to 70 tons of household garbage per week and complete approximately 600 to 650 special pickups per month. Each resident in the city is allowed one FREE special pickup per month.

The Sanitation and Trash Division also implemented citywide alley sweeps two years ago. These clean sweeps in the spring and fall cover several neighborhoods and focus on cleaning up loose trash and cutting back brush from public rights of way. This is also in addition to a downtown cleanup program that the division provides on Saturdays and Sundays in the spring and fall in the downtown central business district.

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