The City Engineer is responsible for the handling, planning, oversight, and reporting on all city-led engineering projects including:

  • Handling water, sewer, and roadway related constructions permits in the public right-of-way.
  • Managing the Asset Management Program for infrastructure within the City right-of-way which includes planning, prioritizing and seeking funding sources for future infrastructure projects.
  • Oversight of Engineering Consulting Services.
  • Construction Progress Meetings and Site Inspections of ongoing construction projects.
  • Responding to Citizen Concerns including Periodic Updates on Construction Progress.
  • Administration of the City's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits.
  • Archives infrastructure project record drawings.
  • Plan review and approval of infrastructure-related elements of new developments.
Tim Zebell

City Engineer:
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Alex Austin 2

Assistant City Engineer:
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Address: 700 Broad Street
Phone: (269) 983-5541
Fax: (269) 985-0346

For information on the St. Joseph River - Bicentennial Bridge USGS Stream Gage, please click on it.

2022 Willa Drive & Lester Avenue, and Donna Drive Reconstruction Projects

The City is currently in the design process for the Willa Drive & Lester Avenue and Donna Drive Reconstruction Projects.  The expanded project limits* are:
Willa Drive & Lester Avenue Reconstruction Project
  • Willa Drive: Botham Avenue to St. Joseph Drive
  • Lester Avenue: Niles Avenue to Willa Drive
  • St. Joseph Drive: Willa Drive to approximately 200 feet west of Willa Drive (most work in tree lawn area)

Donna Drive Reconstruction Project

  • Donna Drive from Lakeview Avenue to South State Street
  • South State Street: Donna Drive to approximately 200 feet south of Donna Drive (part-width improvements)   

A neighborhood meeting was held on July 19th at 6 pm in City Commission Chambers to discuss several concepts under consideration for Lester Avenue, what to expect prior to thereconstruction project and to gather resident and property owner feedback.  Links to the letter that was sent to the neighborhood, and the concepts discussed at the public meeting are provided below.

Input provided during the public meeting was used to update Lester Avenue concept.  The hybrid plan was presented to, and approved by the City Commission on July 26, 2021.
A second public meeting will be held on October 27, 2021 at 6 PM in City Commission Chambers to discuss the project with the expanded neighborhood that will be impacted by the construction.  The meeting will also be available via Zoom.

Remote Meeting Log-In Information

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to join.

Passcode: 4908549085

Or join by phone:
Dial: 312 626 6799, 888 788 0099 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5247 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 838 4999 0279
Passcode: 4908549085

Public Meeting Notice October 21, 2021

Tree removals will be required this fall, in advance of the work next year in order to comply with environmental regulations.  Extensive tree removals will be required for the reconstruction projects for the reasons stated in the July 19, meeting notice.
* On August 9, 2021, the City Commission approved extending the Willa Drive & Lester Avenue Reconstruction Projects to include Willa Drive from Highland Avenue to Botham Avenue, and accelerating the Donna Drive Reconstruction Project by one year, in order to take advantage of a Drinking Water Infrastructure grant which offers 30% principle forgiveness on a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) low interest loan.  A DWSRF lown interest loan will be used to finance the drinking water eligible items, which include lead service line replacements (LSLR) in the project areas, as well as stand-along LSLR projects.  A public meeting will be scheduled in the near future to provide information about the project to the expanded area.
Questions regarding this project should be directed to City Engineer Tim Zebell, telephone: (269) 985-0339, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2022 Broad Street Resurfacing Project

Design of the Broad Street Resurfacing Project is also underway.  The City recently received $184,000 in federal funding to help offset the estimated $430,000 construction cost.  The project limits are Broad Street from Main Street to Ann Street, and Langley Avenue from Ann Street to Pearl Street.  As the project name implies, the work consists of milling and resurfacing Broad Street over the project limits.  A small length of santiary sewer will be replaced near Pearl Street and repairs on a culvert near Public Works is also included in the scope of the project.  Construction is currently being targeted for spring 2022.
Questions regarding this project should be directed to City Engineer Tim Zebell, telephone: (269) 985-0339, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Projects

The City recently awarded two contracts from the FY 22 LSLR - Future Road Project.  This includes lead service line replacements on Broad Street from Main Street to Pearl Street and Botham Avenue from South State Street to Niles Avenue.  Work on this on Broad Street will start the first week in October and be completed by mid-November.  Work on Botham Avenue is tentatively to start in the late fall of 2021.

The City Engineering Department recently issued advertisement for the FY 22 LSLR - High Lead Sample Results Project.  This includes properties from throughout the City that have particpated in the voluntary testing program and have received higher results.  This project will also include properties that may be impacted by the replacement of a nearby water service.  A small portion of water main reconfiguration on Miller Drive is also included in this project.

Lead Water Service Information

Please follow this link for more details. Lead Service Replacement Program

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Program

Point of contact:

Tim Zebell, P.E.
City Engineer
Telephone: 269-983-5541
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The City recently completed Infiltration and Inflow Mitigation Monitoring Analysis work as part of the CSO National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) compliance program.  City staff will recommend proceeding with the next step of the program at the December 13, 2021 Commission Meeting.  The recently completed study can be found here, the power point presented to EGLE to revise the CSO NPDES compliance schedule is here and a power point covering the proposed I & I removal and sewer rehabilitation project can be found here.

Please see the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Report for additional information here.

SAW Grant

Asset Management Plan

Public Meeting Maps


A Permit is required for work within the Right-of-Way.

The Right-of-Way typically includes the street, tree lawn and sidewalk area in front of your property. Please refer to the Right-of-Way Permit application - at the link that follows - for additional details on the requirements.

Right-of-Way Application (PDF)(revised 4-18-2019)

Please submit applications and supporting materials to Alex Austin at the contact information noted above.

City of St. Joseph and Southwest Regional Sanitary Sewer and Water Authority Standard Specifications and Details for new water main construction

Water Main Permits

Please contact City Engineer Tim Zebell for information on the water main permit approval process. 

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