Engineering Department Frequently Asked Questions
Phone: (270) 687-8641
Fax: (270) 687-8327
City of Owensboro
P.O. Box 10003
Owensboro, KY 42302-9003
- How do I get my street paved?
- What materials are considered illegal to dump into a storm drain or system?
- Who do I call if I see a person illegally dumping any item into a storm system?
- Who do I call if I see a blockage in a storm drain or ditch?
- What are the truck routes in the City?
- What are the snow routes in the City?
- Who do I call if I see a blockage in the site triangle?
- What is a public right-of-way, and where does it begin?
- What is an improved public alley right-of-way?
- What is an unimproved public alley right-of-way?
- What is a public utility easement?
- When do I need a street cut permit?
- How do I request annexation?
- How do I request a right-of-way (alley) closure?
- Who is responsible for my sidewalk along the front of my property?
- My drive apron is broken - Who is responsible for the repairs?
- Does the City have a mosquito control program? How does it work?
- Will the City send a survey crew out to mark my property corners or easements?
- Can a resident hire a city crew to perform work on private property, such as a driveway repair or private inlet cleaning?
- Will the City reduce the speed limit on my street?
- Can I get a Caution Children at Play sign installed?
How do I get my street paved?
Each year, the Engineering Department hires a crew of Pavement Management Technicians to inspect and rate each street (and sidewalk) in the city. Their findings are entered into a computer program, which is used to generate a list of streets that require resurfacing. The program assigns each street a P. C. I. (Pavement Condition Index) value. On a scale of 1-100, with 1 being the worst 100 being the best, we usually add streets to the list that receive a PCI value of 65 and below. We pave the streets on the list as our funding permits. Any request that comes in from the public for street paving is viewed by the Engineering Department to see if it qualifies for paving.
What materials are considered illegal to dump into a storm drain or system?
It is illegal to dump trash, leaves, yard clippings, oil, paint or any other item into any storm system, whether that system be an inlet or an open ditch.Eventually all storm systems dump into a stream or a creek. Click here for a full definition and City Ordinance.
Who do I call if I see a person illegally dumping any item into a storm drain or ditch?
Call City Action at 687-4444 or use our online reporting system by clicking here. You do not have leave your name or number if you do not wish to. Be prepared to give us the location of the storm system being illegally dumped into, and the Engineering Department will respond.
Who do I call if I see a blockage in a storm drain or ditch?
Call City Action at 687-4444 or use our online reporting system by clicking here. Be prepared to give us the location of the storm system that has the blockage in it, and the Engineering Department will respond.
What are the truck routes in the city?
Truck routes in the City are routes specifically established to allow any truck passage through the City, as outlined in City Ordinance Chapter 25, Article III., Sec. 25-73. A truck is defined as any motor propelled vehicle equipped with three (3) or more axles or having in excess of 40,000 pounds gross weight while engaged in interstate or intrastate transportation of people, goods, materials and/or any other property on any highway, street, road, alley or other public right-of-way within the corporate limits of the City of Owensboro. Click here to view a copy of the truck route map.
What are the snow routes in the city?
Snow routes are the routes that are to be cleared during a snow event, see City Ordinance Chapter 25, Article I., Section 25-4. The City has been divided up into priority 1 and priority 2 routes, with priority 1 being cleared first. Click here to view a copy of the snow routes.
Who do I call if I see a blockage in the site triangle?
If you see an obstruction at any intersection that inhibits your vision of oncoming traffic, call City Action at 687-4444 or report online by clicking here. The Engineering Department will mark the Site Triangle, and if a violation is present, will work with the property owner to remove the obstruction.
What is a public right-of-way, and where does it begin?
Simply put, the public right-of-way is area (or property) that has been dedicated for public use. The public right-of-way usually begins at your property line which is adjacent to the street. If you have a sidewalk, the right-of-way line is usually situated 6 inches behind the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, the right-of-way line is usually 9 feet from the back of the street curb. The most accurate way to find the right-of-way is to have your property pins located at the right-of-way line.
What is an improved public alley right-of-way?
An improved public alley is a dedicated public right-of-way that has been improved with some type of surface on it such as gravel, asphalt or concrete.
What is an unimproved public alley right-of-way?
An unimproved public alley is a dedicated public alley that does not have any type of improvements such as gravel, asphalt or concrete installed on its surface. These alleys are sometimes referred to as “paper alleys”.
What is a public utility easement?
Utility or drainage easements are private property owned by the property owner the easement runs across. Easements give an interest in land owned by another that entitles the holder of the easement to a specific limited use. For example, easements allow a utility company the right to encroach upon private property to construct and maintain their facilities.
When do I need a street-cut permit?
By City Ordinance Chapter 24, Article III, Division II, Section 24 – 61, "It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, reconstruct, alter, remove or replace any sidewalk, driveway, street curb or gutter, or any combination of the aforementioned on any public property or right-of-way, or to place any material required for such construction on any public property or right-of-way, without first having obtained from the city engineer a permit to do so. All such construction, reconstruction, alteration, removal or replacement shall be under the supervision of the city engineer and in accordance with the plans and specifications as hereinafter provided." To get a street cut permit click here.
How do I request annexation?
You can either call the engineering department (270-687-8641), or come in and talk with the engineering technician that is responsible for preparing the annexations. The information necessary for annexation are as follows:
- A completed ‘Request for Annexation’ form;
- Submittal of three copies of the plat that have been stamped and signed by a professional licensed land surveyor; and
- Submittal of a description of the property (one copy) to be annexed that has been stamped and signed by a professional licensed land surveyor.
Once the annexation has been prepared, it goes before the City Commission twice. It usually takes six to eight weeks for an annexation to become final. All fees for annexations have been waived, however the property owner requesting the annexation is responsible for any legal or other fees associated with the preparation of the Annexation Request. We do have annexation agreements that developers can discuss with the city manager. These agreements help developers with cost of the installation of public improvements over a period of time when annexing into the city.
How do I request a right-of-way (alley) closure?
To close a public alley right-of-way, all of the adjacent property owners must be in agreement. The first step in a right-of-way closure is to have all the adjacent property owners to sign a ‘Request for Closure’ form, or a ‘Consent of Abutting Property Owner’ form and have it notarized.
A file folder and a plat are prepared of the area proposed to be closed. A comment sheet is drafted up and addressed to each department or agency. A comment sheet is placed with a copy of the plat and mailed to one of different areas.
According to the right-of-way closure policy requested by the City Commissioners, if the proposed right-of-way to be closed is only a portion and not the entire right-of-way, the requesting party will be required to obtain signed consent forms from the remaining property owners along the said right-of-way, along with notification forms from other property owners who may use the proposed closure on a regular basis. The form used for this is the ‘Consent of Property Owner(s) to the Closure of Public Right-of-way in the Immediate Area’.
If there are no problems with any of the comments or replies from the local utilities or city departments, an engineering technician will notify the attorney that is representing the requesting property owner for the closure and tell him that it is time to prepare the ordinance for closure.
Once we receive the ordinance for closure, the city engineer and the city attorney will review it to make sure it is in order. When the ordinance has been approved by the city attorney, we will create a closure packet to be presented to the City Commission. The ordinance goes before the City Commission twice, and it is advertised in the newspaper before each meeting. The cost of a right-of-way closure involves the following:
- Attorney fees – preparing ordinance for closure,
- Advertising fees – for newspaper ad, and
- Filing fees – court cost for filing approved ordinance.
Once the ‘Ordinance for Closure’ has been approved by the City Commission, the ordinance has to be filed at the courthouse. An uncontested right-of-way closure with no obstacles or special conditions will take two and a half to three months to complete.
Who is responsible for my sidewalk along the front of my property?
The city has a sidewalk program that targets neighborhood areas to repair public sidewalk. The City is divided into Neighborhood Alliances, often referred to as ‘NABs’. During the inspection of the City Streets (see “How do I get My Street Paved” above,) the summer interns also inspect and rate the sidewalk. The distresses in the walks are rated and broken down by the NAB they occur in. We then work in the NAB with the worst sidewalk. When one area is completed, we move to the next until all sidewalks in the city have been inspected and repaired. At this time, we are only repairing sidewalk that violates ADA (American Disabilities Act) regulations.
If the property owner does not want to wait for the sidewalk program that targets these neighborhood areas to remove and replace the sidewalk, they may wish to take advantage of a sidewalk replacement program. This program allows the property owner to hire a bonded contractor, or become bonded themselves, so that the property owner can have the damaged sidewalk removed and replaced after following the proper procedures of:
- Verifying that the sidewalk has been measured by the City Construction Inspector to make sure it qualifies for the program;
- The ‘Sidewalk Replacement’ form has been signed by the property owner; and
- The concrete has been ordered from the city’s vendor.
After all the requirements have been met using the city’s sidewalk replacement program, the city will pay for the concrete.
My driveway apron is broken, who is responsible for the repairs?
It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain his/her drive apron. You have to hire a bonded contractor, or become bonded yourself, to work on your apron because it is in the public right-of-way and a street cut permit is required, click here for a copy of the form. Call 687-8641 if you have any further questions.
Does the City have a mosquito control program? How does it work?
The City does have a mosquito control program that serves city residents. Our contractor treats several ditches and can use his fogging truck from the street or public alley to treat residential areas. The City does not fog backyards for private residents.
The fogging only lasts for a while (3-4 days) and lasts even less after a rain. We do not keep addresses on a regular fogging list. Individuals must call again as needed.
To have your name put on the list for mosquito fogging, call the City Action Line at 270-687-4444 or report it online by clicking here.
Will the City send a survey crew out to mark my property corners or easements?
The City of Owensboro does not perform survey work for City residents. However, if a property owner would like to have any easements marked in order to locate any construction outside of the easement, the Engineering Department will send a survey crew out to mark the limits of any Public Utility Easement.
Can a resident hire a city crew to perform work on private property, such as a drive repair or private inlet cleaning?
No, the City of Owensboro does not perform work on private property and can not be hired to do work outside of the Right of Way.
Will the City reduce the speed limit on my street?
The City set speed limit is 30 MPH for all city maintained streets unless approved by commission as part of the City Municipal Code. Currently, the only City maintained streets with a speed below 30 MPH are Veteran's Blvd and W 2nd St between Triplett St and Walnut St.
Can I get a Caution Children at Play sign installed?
The City does not install any Caution Children at Play signs. These signs do not follow our guidelines as set by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). These signs also do not describe where the children might be, have no legal meaning, give a false sense of security, and are not enforceable by the police.