Get to Know Your City Government

What exactly do you do?

My primary duties include maintaining all the street signs and street markings and setting up signs for city construction zones. But we’re very much a team in the Street Department. That means I help out with all sorts of things – crack sealing, chip sealing, truck driving, patching potholes in streets, snow plowing, utility locates, cutting trees, maintaining alleys and helping other departments.

I’m currently swapping out more than 520 snow signs along all of our designated snow routes. The old signs were showing their age. We redesigned some new ones to provide better direction for drivers.

What are your responsibilities?

I am responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing all city street and traffic signs, as well as street markings like painting the lanes. I also handle sign layout and help out with a variety of other street projects as needed. In the summer, I manage up to four seasonal employees.

We’re looking for help, if you’re looking for work. Do you have to have special training to do the job?

We follow the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). So, I need to be familiar with those rules when we’re placing and designing signs or setting up traffic control for construction zones. This summer, I’ll have been with the city for 25 years. I started out as a meter reader. Then I moved to street maintenance worker. I’ve been the crew leader for signs and markings now for more than 20 years.

We used to make our own signs; we had to cook the letters onto the sign. By the time you did layout and got the letters on, you were into each sign for a couple of hours. Now it’s much more cost-effective to just buy the signs. They’re all screen printed these days.

What is one of the more fun aspects of the job?

I enjoy working outside in the summer and working with the great crew that we have at the Street Department.

What is one of the ‘worst’ aspects of the job?

Adverse weather conditions. I don’t like extreme cold or extremely hot temperatures. When we snow plow, we put in long hours as well.

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