One of our goals is always to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollar. The Department of Public Works takes this responsibility very seriously. We always do our best to take care of all of the city’s assets. Sometimes, city assets get damaged, especially along the roadway.
Every year vehicles strike signs, landscaping and decorative light poles. Our police department responds to these accidents and then they let the Department of Public Works know about any damages we need to be aware of. As soon as we are notified, we decide if we need to respond to the scene and address any safety hazards. If a car strikes a light pole then we will make sure there are no live wires that could hurt someone. If it’s a tree that is knocked over, we will use a chainsaw to cut up the pieces and drag them out of the road.
Cost recovery is the way we pursue reimbursement for damage to our assets caused by other people. In the case of a car accident where a light pole is hit, we request a copy of the police report which contains the insurance information from the driver who caused the accident. The first step is to call the insurance company and report the claim. Once we have made the necessary repairs we send the insurance company an itemized list showing all of the parts, equipment, labor and vehicles that were used to make the repairs. The insurance company sends a check to the City which is deposited with the City Treasurer. Unfortunately, sometimes driver’s leave the scene of the accident without reporting it, such as was the case with the irrigation box that was struck on Squirrel Road just north of University (near Applebees). The accident occurred on or before January 13th. If you happen to have any information on that accident, our police department would love to hear from you.
Stan Torres, Manager of Municipal Properties, Department of Public Works