Benjamin Miller - Maintenance Manager
The Maintenance Division is comprised of hard working, dedicated professionals who work to maintain public areas and public infrastructure. This includes 52 center line miles of streets and roads, 82 miles of water distribution pipes and 48 miles of sanitary sewer mains.
The Maintenance Division is also responsible for the maintenance and operation of the storm drain system, traffic and street signs, crosswalks, fire hydrants, water meters, streetlights, parks, plaza, buildings and their landscaping which includes the Fire Department’s Ley Station, the Yreka Police Station, City Hall, Community Center and Theater, and the Service Center on the north end of town at 856 North Main Street.
Maintenance workers can be seen around Yreka, in brightly colored reflective vests, working to keep the City running as smoothly as possible. Please remember to drive carefully in construction zones!
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The Maintenance Division performs cold-mix or hot-mix patching depending on weather conditions. During winter, the Maintenance Division works to patch potholes, and generally saves larger projects that can temporarily close streets for the summer. These summer projects often include overlays, chip seals, and crack sealing.
Another aspect of the Maintenance Division’s duties is sweeping the streets with a Street Sweeper. This task makes the City more aesthetically pleasing, and it prevents contaminates from entering the storm drain system and Yreka Creek. This helps keep the City and the surrounding environment clean.
Street sweepers are NOT designed to pick up leaves. They are designed to remove fine particulate matter from the street. If piles of leaves are left in the streets, the operator must drive around them to prevent clogging the machine. Leaves must be properly disposed of and not blown or dumped into the street. The Municipal Code prohibits the placement of leaves and other debris in the street. So, please DO NOT PLACE LEAVES OR OTHER DEBRIS IN THE STREET!
The Municipal Code also prohibits the placement of snow in the street. Please, when you shovel snow from your sidewalk, driveway, or parking lot, place the snow on your property, NOT in the street. Snow in the street clogs drainage inlets, blocks the flow of water in gutters, and creates flooding problems.
Streetlights are maintained by the Maintenance Division. If you know of a streetlight that is out, please call (530) 841-2370. Streetlights are scheduled for repair in large blocks. This allows for the Division to more efficiently use its resources, and it reduces the per streetlight repair cost. Unfortunately, this means that it will take some time before a streetlight is repaired.
The property owner is responsible to maintain the sidewalk. California’s Streets and Highways Code states, “The owners of lots or portions of lots fronting on any portion of a public street shall maintain any sidewalk in such condition that the sidewalk will not endanger persons or property and maintain it in a condition that will not interfere with the public convenience.”
If the sidewalk fronting private property becomes a hazard, the City will either require the sidewalk to be repaired by the owner, or it will be repaired at the owner’s expense.
Yreka has a large number of Parks available to residents and visitors. There have been great strides toward water efficiency in the Parks the last few years. The Maintenance Division has started to replace antiquated sprinkler heads and is closely monitoring the water usages in each grassy area. This uses less water, uses fertilizer more effectively, and creates lush green lawns that cost much less to maintain.
The Maintenance Division does a lot of landscaping tasks in the Parks during the summer to make sure visitors and residents can enjoy the Parks as much as possible. While these tasks are scheduled to minimize work while the Park is in use, there can be some overlap, so please pardon the noise.
The Maintenance Division maintains the water mains from the tanks on the hills to the water meter near each property. The valve on the input side of the meter is owned by the City and maintained by the Maintenance Division. DO NOT ATTEMPT to use this valve.
The property owner owns the line from the OUTPUT side of the meter, the side closest to a house. If you have an emergency that requires water to be turned off, locate the meter box and close the valve CLOSEST to the house. If there is not a valve on the house side of the meter, please call the Maintenance Division at (530)841-2370. If you do not know the location of the meter box, take a few minutes and find it. Renters should also know this information. In the event of plumbing failure, this information can save thousands of dollars in repair costs.
The Maintenance Division also maintains the sewer mains. Their responsibility extends from the sewer mains in the street, up to, but not including the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The property owner owns and is responsible for maintaining the entire sewer lateral from the plumbing in the property owner's buildings, up to and including the connection to the sewer main in the street. If there is a clog in the sewer lateral, it is the property owner's responsibility to clear it. City crews are not allowed onto private property in order to clean or maintain privately owned sewer laterals.
Inflow and Infiltration (I&I)
Inflow and infiltration is the process in which uncontaminated water (water that does not need to be treated) flows or seeps into the City's sewer system. It can decrease efficiency of the system, which increases the cost of treatment. I&I can also overwhelm the sewer system during big storms, which may cause sewer overflows and other hazards.
Inflow is when stormwater (rainwater) enters the sewer collection system through prohibited connections to the City's sewer system with a roof, yard or basement, or other type of drain. If your property has a connection like this, you will need to remove the connection right away.
Infiltration is when groundwater enters into the sewer system via loose joints and connections or through cracked or otherwise broken pipes. Properly maintaining your sewer lateral plays a very important role in the overall maintenance of the sewer collection system.