Drainage/Grounds/Beautification Maintenance

The Drainage/Grounds/Beatification Maintenance/Right-of-Way (ROW) Maintenance Division is responsible for maintaining City ROWs, boulevards, city-owned facilities, cemeteries and drainage systems. This drainage system includes underground drainage, surface drainage and open-ditch drainage.           

Equipment and Crews   

Equipment used for drainage/ground maintenance includes Grad-all and Vac-all. Grad-alls are used to clean ditches and Vac-alls blow and clean drains, catch basins and culverts.

Sweepers: This division has five street sweepers, one vacuum sweeper and three flat-bed dump trucks. The street sweepers clean the debris out of the gutter line of the streets to prevent debris from going into the City's drainage system. The flat-bed trucks dump the sweepers when they get loaded and haul the materials to the dump. Sweepers sweep four times at week for eight hours at day for a total of 160 hours a week, 640 hours a month and 7,685 hours per year.

Slope Mowers: These mowers are used to maintain the open ditches and City ROWs throughout the City of Lake Charles. They are used to cut high grass out of the ditches so water can drain properly. The City has three slope mowers. The slope mowers cut open ditches four days a week for a total of 32 hours a week, 128 hours a month and 1,536 hours per year.

Edger Tractor: The City has one edger tractor that is used to maintain and edge the City ROWs and medians throughout the City of Lake Charles.

Bush Hogs: This equipment is used to maintain City ROWs, natural ground and lots owned by the City throughout the City of Lake Charles. The City has two bush hogs, two flare mowers and one 15-inh wing deck bush hog.

Spray Truck: This truck is used to maintain the City's ditches and ROWs. The City has one spray truck. The City is also working with a new vendor who sprays our open ditches three times a year. The City of Lake Charles has a total of 52 miles of open ditches.

Bus Route: This division maintains the entire City-owned Bus Stop and Transit Facility. They pick up litter, weed eat, weed, treat for ant and conduct general cleaning.

Riding Mower: Riding mowers are used to maintain all City-owned facilities, boulevards, cemeteries and other locations given by supervisors. The division has a total of 12, 60-inch cut riding mowers and has recently purchased three propane mowers for better air control.

Drainage Repair: For drainage repair, the drainage crew uses a track hoe and a dozer. The track hoes are used to excavate damaged drain lines for repair and the dozers are used to level aggregate roadways and City-owned property.

Beautification Crew: This crew is responsible for maintaining all trees, flower beds and bushes at City-owned facilities, boulevards and other locations given by supervisors.                                      

General Purpose Crew: This crew of four to five workers clean and weed eat city ditches and ROWs, pick up liter throughout the City and cut low-hanging limbs from trees over the street and sidewalk. They also clean up oil spills and respond to emergency calls. 

In conjunction with the above-mentioned equipment, the drainage crew uses four dump trucks to haul debris when cleaning ditches and when performing other special jobs. These dump trucks also serve as the means to bring the track hoe and dozer to job sites. 

The City of Lake Charles is divided into 10 zones and maintenance crews, using the sweepers, Grad all and the Vac-con, work their way through each zone, beginning with Zone 1. In each zone, they clean ditches, drains, catch basins, etc.

Repair crews, using the track hoe and the dozer, are dispatched to specific sites from calls taken through the Public Works Helpline. Citizens, councilmen, and other City departments/divisions call in problems and complaints to the Public Works Helpline. The Drainage/ Ground Maintenance Supervisor will investigate the complaints and after investigation, he will prioritize the calls based upon his findings, create work orders for them and place them on the work schedule. 

Calls will come into the Helpline for problems that must be addressed by the maintenance crews using the Grad-all and Vac-alls. These work orders become part of the General Purpose, Sweepers, Slope Mowers, Bush Hogs, and Spray Trucks divisions.


Work Schedules

Drainage/Grounds Maintenance/ROW Maintenance Crews: This includes drainage crew, bus route crews, sweepers, slope mower, bush hog, spray truck, ground maintenance and beatification crews.

  • Monday through Thursday- 6:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m.

ROW Crew:

  • Monday through Thursday- 6:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m

General Purpose Crew:

  • Monday through Friday- 6:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m.

Inmate Crew 1 - Litter Abatement:

  • Monday thru Thursday - 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Inmate Crew 2 - Maintain City-owned Cemeteries:

  • Monday through Thursday - 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.


Complaint Procedures

When citizens have complaints concerning drainage, they should call the Public Works Helpline at (337) 491-1220. These calls are processed by the employees who staff the Helpline. The information is placed into the Public Works work order system. When calls come in about emergencies such as "cave-ins," they are immediately dispatched via radio to the Drainage/Grounds Maintenance Division so that the area of the emergency can be barricaded. The location of the emergency is noted in the Drainage/Grounds/Beatification Maintenance Division's Barricade Report and is monitored daily by the Drainage Foreman and Drainage Supervisor.

The work order system is monitored by the Drainage/Grounds/Beatification Maintenance Division Supervisor and Foreman. Drainage calls usually are investigated by the Drainage/Grounds Maintenance/Supervisor on the following day. However, in certain instances, such as adverse weather conditions, large drainage jobs, emergencies, etc., the time of investigation may be delayed.

After the supervisor prioritizes the calls that come into the Helpline, he creates work orders for them. Once work orders are created, they can be placed into the drainage work schedule.

Drainage/Grounds/Beatification Maintenance crews operate on a two-week schedule. The two-week schedule can and will be interrupted when new calls come in that develop into high priority work orders. High priority work orders supersede regularly scheduled work.

For certain jobs, the crews will need to dig or disturb the ground in some way. When work of this nature is to be performed, the Drainage/Ground/Beatification Maintenance Division will call in a "Dottie" to the state of Louisiana. For "Dottie's" located in Calcasieu Parish, the state of Louisiana mandates a 48-hour waiting period from the time the "Dottie" has been called in to the time someone can start digging.

Once the "Dottie" has been marked, the crew can begin the work. Unless said crew has to respond to an emergency call, they will finish the job started.

Please note:  Mayor's Action Line calls are also entered in the work order system and are handled in the same manner as calls that originate with the Help Line.

General Purpose Crew/ground Maintenance

Each day, crews work diligently, performing a variety of tasks. This work includes cutting grass at City-owned facilities, boulevards, cemeteries, and other locations given by supervisors; weed eating, edging sidewalks, collecting litter, cleaning and weed eating open ditches, barricading events as needed, cleaning oil spills, parade clean-up, trimming low-hanging tree limbs, removing obstructions from street signs and responding to call-outs created by citizen requests

Weed eating is done to improve the look of sidewalks, adjudicated lots, the underside of overpasses, and the pillars that support them. Often, weed eating is used to maintain neutral ground and fence lines on select streets.

Departing and Returning to Public Works Yard 

Drainage/Ground Maintenance Division employees are to clock in by 6:45 a.m. Then a daily pre-trip inspection is performed on all equipment/vehicles that will be used for the day. The crews are to leave the Public Works Yard no later than 7:10 a.m. The crew does not return to yard until 4:45 p.m.

Upon arrival at the yard, the operators must do a post-trip inspection and also fuel equipment.

Employees then clock out at 5:15 p.m.

General Purpose Crew do not return to the yard until 2:45 p.m.

Upon arrival to the yard, the operators must do a post-trip inspection and also fuel equipment.

Employees then clock out at 3:15 p.m.

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