A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 29

Day 29

Automatic Meter Reading Research

For about a year we've been researching automatic meter read (AMR) systems. Because our neighboring communities to the north and south have also been going through this process, we decided to combine our efforts and collaborate on the research. So as a group we've met with several vendors over the course of the past year. Today we all got together to summarize our findings and to discuss where we go from here. We decided to call in one of the vendors to discuss a few of the options we thought about pursuing. Although I think the AMR technology is awesome and very much enjoy researching the options, what has really been rewarding has been the opportunity to work with the other cities on this project. Like my co-workers, the staff in these cities are very knowledgeable, professional, and great to work with.

Special Service Areas (SSA)

Later in the day a few of our staff met to continue the discussion about creating an SSA for a certain area in our community. Again, these SSAs help provide a funding vehicle for improving  a specific subdivision. Although we dont' always levy taxes in each SSA, it's still good to have it in place in case the neighborhood needs to have maintenance or work done within the common areas of their subdivision.

Permits and Development

One of the utilities in our area is still trying to get a line installed in our downtown area. They submitted a new plan showing where they want to install their line, but they showed no other utilities on the drawing. So I had to let them know I cannot really review it without knowing where the other utilities are. On Monday, I'll have to make a copy of our utility maps for that area and send them to the utility so they can add them to the drawings. I also worked a little bit with a development that has re-submitted plans for review. We are still waiting for them to resolve the location of the electric so I could not move forward with their approval this week. Hopefully it will be resolved next week so I can complete by review.



A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 17

Day 17

Alley reconstruction project

Well I waited until later tonight to post because we had a public meeting tonight at city hall for an alley reconstruction project. The city has over the last several years replaced their alleys with concrete pavement, and this one is the last in this particular neighborhood. We completed the east half of the alley last year and will now work on the west half with this project. Fortunately the same contractor was awarded the bid so we aniticpate the project will proceed in a manner similar to last year. It went very well and was completed in a timely manner with minimal problems. Tonight, the engineer for the project gave the presentation and answered questions. The residents who attended the meeting had some great questions and offered important input about some of the issues we might have to address during construction. Earlier today we also had the preconstruction meeting with the contractor and discussed the schedule, the materials and suppliers, and his subcontractors in addition to other issues we like to talk about before construction starts.

Permit reviews

Today I was able to finalize the permit review I had been working on and sent it to the developer's engineer. They had worked out the meter sizing and received the fee information earlier today from others in the city. I also received another re-submittal for a small project related to another development, and I anticipate working on that review tomorrow. There were also three permits I reviewed that a utility had submitted. Even though one of our staff checks these, I like to do a final check since I am the one who signs off. One thing I look for is if there are easements in place for the work if they are not proposing to work in the right of way. Today, one of these did not seem to have an easement so the applicant is moving the line into the right of way or into an existing easement and resubmitting.

Special Service Areas

Our city establishes special service areas (SSA) for certain locations within the community. Although SSAs can be created for different reasons, most of ours seem to be for the purpose of maintaining stormwater facilities or landscaping in public areas. Today a group of staff met to discuss one particular area in our community related to an SSA. I came away from the meeting with a list of tasks I need to finish related to this particular SSA.