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.
  • 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


Kingsley, Morton, Orchard and Langley Projects

In 2020, the City plans to reconstruct Kingsley Avenue from Niles Avenue to Morton Avenue, Morton Avenue from Kingsley Avenue to Orchard Avenue and Orchard Avenue from Morton Avenue to Langley Avenue.  Reconstruction of Langley Avenue is  scheduled to start in 2021 and encompasses Langley Avenue from Pearl Street to Napier Avenue. 

In early November 2018, the City held an Open House to gather public input on several concepts for the upcoming reconstruction projects.  All of the concept plans included non-motorized facilities in order to comply with the City’s Master Plan and the Complete Streets Policy Adopted by the Twin Cities Transportation Study (TwinCATs).  Space within the public right-of-way is limited, so the addition of non-motorized facility generally results a reduction or loss of on-street parking.  Extensive tree removals will also be required for both projects for multiple reasons including tree size (too big for the available space), age, conflicts with sewer services.  The tree removals must be completed in advance of the construction in order to comply with environmental regulations.  The concept plans remained available for viewing and public input until early August 12th. 

At the regularly scheduled City Commission Meeting on August 12th, the City Commission approved the non-motorized concept based upon the public input and the recommendation of City staff and Abonmarche.  In the case of Kingsley, Morton and Orchard, the plans include angled on-street parking and some parallel parking.  The Langley concept approved provided no on-street parking but will be modified to add a few parallel spaces at strategic locations for the purpose of deliveries, lawn services and the like.  Links to the letter sent to the project area prior to the meeting, a copy of the power point discussed during the meeting, and the approved concepts follow.

August 12 Meeting Notice to Project area
August 12 Power Point
Open House Kingsley Concept 3
Open House Morton Concept 3
Open House Orchard Concept 1
Open House Langley Concept 1

On March 17, 2020, a public meeting was held by remote access/telephone conference call for the Kingsley, Morton and Orchard Reconstruction Project.  Slides of the information covered is available at this link.  Work on Kingsley Avenue is scheduled to start the week of March 30th.

December 2nd Kingsley, Morton & Orchard Reconstruction Project Update

A public meeting will be held on December 11, 2019 at 6 PM in City Commission Chambers to provide an update on the 2020 Kingsley, Morton & Orchard Reconstruction Project to the neighborhood and obtain temporary right-of-entries where needed for lead water service line replacements and driveway work.  The mailing sent to the project area provides additional details and can be viewed by following the link below.

December 11 Meeting Notice

Water Service Replacement Construction Right-of-Way

Driveway Replacement Construction Right-of-Way

Tree Planting Report

March 17th Kingsley, Morton & Orchard Reconstruction Project Update

A Pre- Construction Public meeing will be held on March 17, 2020 at 6 PM in the City Commission Chambers to inform those impacted or interested in the project of what to expect. The mailing sent to the project area provides additional details and can be viewed by following the links below.

Project Information Sheet

Pre-Construction Public Meeting Notice

Please feel free to contact City Engineer Tim Zebell (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: 269-983-5541) if you have questions or concerns related to the projects.

Lead Water Service Information

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

2020 Sidewalk Replacement Project

On January 27, 2020 the City Commission awarded Anlaan Corporation, out of Grand Haven, the 2020 Sidewalk Replacement Project.  This project will be focused in the southwest quadrant of the City, west of Niles Avenue and south of Sutherland/Central Avenue.  While the bulk of the work will be within these limits, therewil be some work throughout the City for ramp upgrades and urgent repairs.

Construction for this project can begin as early as March 30, 2020 and must be completed by September 11, 2020.  The work will be completed within this window.  Construction status maps will be available here after the work begins.

The project is part of the City's biennial sidewalk program in which a replacement project is undertaken every other.  The purpose of this program is to remove potential tripping hazards.  This is accomplished by removing and replacing any sidewalk square that a 1" or greater difference in height from an adjacement square.

Reinspection of the quadrant is now underway.  You will see white "X" on squares to be replaced.  During the reinspections there is a chance additional sidewalk will be added into the project.  Homeowners that will be affected by these additions will receive a letter shortly after these new squares are identified.

For more information regarding the sidewalk program please see the FAQ Sheet.  For questions or concerns about th sidewalk program please contact Alex Austin, Assistant City Engineer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or 269-983-5541.

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 1-23-2018)

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

St Joseph Downtown Vision

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