Public Works


The Department of Public Works is the largest and most diverse of the city’s departments and includes the Parks Department, Sewer Department and Water Department.

It provides such services as snow plowing, sanding, street repairs, traffic control, tree trimming, chipping, leaf pick-up, brush collection, park maintenance, flooding the ice rink, making compost, fleet maintenance, beach grooming and public area maintenance, to name just a few. The Public Works Department also assists other organizations as necessary, especially during the city’s festivals and peak summer season.

City Street Network

The city has 18.35 miles of major streets and 29.5 miles of local streets that it is responsible for maintaining. The state of Michigan provides some funding for city streets through the sharing of gas tax revenues as authorized by Public Act 51 of 1951. With state gas tax revenues declining, the city is receiving less revenue each year for street projects.

It is hoped that the legislature will address this funding crisis at some point. In any event, even without these decreases, the Act 51 revenue does not nearly cover the full costs associated with maintaining our streets. It is necessary to supplement these funds with tax revenue, other locally generated funds and/or grants.

Problem Areas

Regular street maintenance involves identifying problem areas and using techniques such as crack sealing and hot patching to help preserve the integrity of the pavement.

Street Sweeping

The city has a street sweeper / cleaner which it uses to clean city streets. Regular cleaning makes city streets more attractive, but more importantly, keeps sand and debris from clogging storm sewer catch basins. This is important to prevent water from ponding and/or flooding areas.

Snow Removal

The city prides itself on its excellent snow removal. School routes, U.S. 31 and Downtown areas are the priority when it comes to plowing. View the city's snow removal policy.

Asset Management

Asset management is defined by state law as: "An ongoing process of maintaining, upgrading, and operating physical assets cost effectively, based on a continuous physical inventory and condition assessment."

City Asset Management

The City maintains a street asset management plan to systematically guide the city’s future street projects and maintenance. The City was awarded the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council 2009 Organization Award for: "Demonstrating Outstanding Achievement in Implementing the Core Principles of Asset Management."

The City's Asset Management Plan was created in 2008 and updated in 2013. The most recent documents are below.

Since 2008, the City has invested approximately $8,700,000 in its street network. That level of investment was predicated on leveraging grants and reconstructing streets in conjunction with the sewer separation projects. Without additional revenue sources, that level of investment will not continue in the future.

Maple Street Bridge

The city owns and operates the historic Maple Street Bridge. This is one of two bascule bridges in the City of Manistee; the other being the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)-owned U.S. 31 Memorial Bridge. The city is fully responsible for its maintenance and operations. The bridge is manned from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm from May 1 to October 31 and is opened on demand during these hours.

The city has invested heavily in the maintenance of the bridge in the past few years. Phase I renovations consisted of replacing the electrical cables under the Manistee River. Phase II renovations will get started in the fall of 2011 and consist of three major areas: replacing electrical motors and controls, fixing bridge tail locks and repairing bridge approaches. Much of this funding was provided by the MDOT local bridge program. In addition, the city received a Federal Highway Appropriation and has contributed city funds. Total cost for the rehabilitation is near $1,750,000.

Tree Program

The City of Manistee is proud to support an active tree planting program. We have been the recipient of the National Arbor Day Society Tree City USA award for a number of years. In addition, the city maintains a Tree Commission that helps guide the city on decisions about its tree infrastructure.

The city offers an annual tree program in the fall where residents can purchase a tree for $25 and have it planted in front of their house in the right of way. This program is a great way to green up the whole community!

Applications and Useful Documents