Public Works

The Department of Public Works is comprised of many different divisions that all work to repair and maintain the transportation, electrical, water and mechanical infrastructures of the City of Rome.

Use the links below the Public Works link to bring you to the department in which you would like to navigate.

Our office is open Monday-Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. We are located on the 3rd floor in City Hall.

Quick Links to Public Works Information:

Waste Water Plant

The first municipal sewer system in the City of Rome was constructed in 1896. The Rome Water Pollution Control Facility, the first major treatment plant in the Mohawk Valley, was constructed in 1932. The plant was reconstructed and expanded in 1948. Planning for the new plant started in 1965 with project approval for construction in 1969. Construction started in 1974 and the plant was put into service in 1977. The total cost for this new facility was $13 million with 87.5 percent State and Federal aid. This new facility, a secondary treatment plant using an activated sludge process, was designed to serve a population of 55,000 and an average daily wastewater flow of 9 million gallons a day. In 1994, the plant was upgraded to a capacity of 12 million gallons a day, with additional aeration tanks, sludge thickener, odor control system and final clarifier, at a cost of $7.5 million.

The activated sludge process used at our facility was developed in England in 1914 and was so named because it involved the production of an activated mass of microorganisms capable of stabilizing the organic content of a waste. It is a biological contact process in which bacteria is commonly found. All types of bacteria make up activated sludge. Our activated sludge process consists of ten aeration basins. These ten basins have allowed us enough aeration capacity and detention time to enable us to nitrify. We nitrify by converting ammonia to nitrates.

Water / Sewer Maintenance

This division is responsible for:

Water Distribution – Hydrant flushing, testing, repairs and replacement. Water leak detection, service leak repairs, water main tapping, repairs and mainline valve replacement.

Water Meter Maintenance – Quarterly meter reading, meter repairs, testing and installations.

Sewer Maintenance – Monthly and weekly flushing, sewer complaints, sewer main repairs, manhole resets, infiltration repair.

Storm Sewer Maintenance – Weekly flushing, manhole rests, repairs and catch basin installations.

Dig Safely New York – Call 1-800-962-7962 before you dig.

GIS – (Geographic Information System) Utility layer development.

Hydrant Fire Flow Testing:
Hours of operation Monday – Friday 7AM to 4PM
AFTER HOUR SEWER & WATER PROBLEMS PLEASE CALL:  315-339-7777

Use the information/links below for Water/Sewer reporting procedures:

Leaking or Damaged Fire Hydrants: Contact the Water Department Maintenance Shop at the Emergency phone number (315) 339-7777, if after hours.

Damaged or Leaking Water Meters: Contact the Water Department Maintenance Shop at (315) 339-7772 or (315) 339-7773 or at the Emergency phone number (315) 339-7777, if after hours.

Turning Water Service On: Turning water service on will be done during working hours ONLY, UNLESS previously turned off for repairs. Water that has been off the rolls for a period of time will be turned on only after a Request for Water Turn On has been filled out at the Water Department Maintenance Shop. You can also download the form by clicking here.

Turning Water Service Off: If an emergency arises and the water service needs to be turned off during working hours call the Water Department Maintenance Shop at the Emergency phone number (315) 339-7777, if after hours. Turning water service off for minor repairs should be done during working hours ONLY. Water that is requested to be taken off the Water Rolls will be turned off only after a Request for Water Off has been filled out at the Water Department Maintenance Shop. You can also download the form by clicking here.

Reporting Dirty Water: Contact the Water Department Maintenance Shop at (315) 339-7772 or (315) 339-7773 or at the Emergency phone number (315) 339-7777, if after hours.

Complaint of No Water: Contact the Water Department Maintenance Shop at (315) 339-7772 or (315) 339-7773 or at the Emergency phone number (315) 339-7777, if after hours.

Reporting a Water Leak: Contact the Water/Sewer Maintenance Shop at (315) 339-7772 or (315) 339-7773 or at the Emergency phone number (315) 339-7777, if after hours.

Water Tap Procedure:

  1. Pay for the tap at the Treasurer’s Office located in City Hall
  2. Obtain a plumbing permit at the Code Enforcement Office located in City Hall
  3. Obtain a Street Cut permit at the Water shop at City Yard and schedule the water tap service 24 hours in advance

Forestry Division

Mission Statement

To develop, protect, and manage the City of Rome’s urban forest and greenspaces in order to cultivate a better quality of life through economic opportunity, environmental sustainability and aesthetic beauty.

F.A.Q.’s

Rome Documents, Forms and Applications

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I tell if a tree is on my property or property of the City?

A: A good rule of thumb for those in the inside district is that any tree growing between the sidewalk and the curb is indeed the responsibility of the city. In many cases, our right of way even extends beyond the sidewalk. In cases such as alleys or outside district situations, the right of way may only extend a foot or two beyond the pavement. Give us a call, and we will gladly make the measurement and determination.

Q: I’ve noticed that the city has been planting a lot of trees. When will trees be planted on my street?

A: We are more than happy to plant a tree in our right of way in front of your property! It is part of our mission to develop a well-distributed and diversified urban canopy, and chances are that your property is a great spot to plant. Simply call the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Activities to sign up for a tree. The city plants trees in the spring and fall based upon residential requests and city-wide priorities. Typically, requests are satisfied on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: I’m having some issues with my tree. What do I do?

A: Give us a call. Once your request is filed, we’ll be out to inspect your tree/site. If we determine that the tree is city property, then we will perform a complete inspection and determine a course of action. In some cases, a routine pruning can improve the health and structure of your tree. In other cases, the remedy may include removal, aeration, hydration, or fertilization. Either way, you will receive a completed inspection form in your door (or by mail) with our recommendations and estimated timeframe for action.

Q: What are those crazy flowers on the boulevard?

A: You are probably referring to our Canna lilies. They come in many different varieties, and some reach up to nearly six feet in height. We also use Victoria Blue Salvia and Wave Petunias in those beds. We are constantly working to diversify and improve our plantings city-wide, so please give us a call if you have any suggestions.

Q: What’s the best time of year to plant trees? Any pointers on planting?

A: Spring or fall. Many would argue that autumn is the best time of year to plant. The plants are dormant, and withstand the shock of transplanting much better between the months of September and November. Furthermore, the roots will have a head start once the snow melts in the spring. However, spring is also a great time to plant, and some trees – oaks in particular – prefer the spring. April and May are the best spring months to plant around here. Regardless of the season, don’t forget to water and mulch your new trees. For planting tips, check out our web page for some great diagrams.

Q: What type of tree is best for our area?

A: Native trees are arguably the best, for example, Northern Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Birch, Black Cherry, Bur Oak, Basswood, Tamarack, Hemlock, White Pine, Serviceberry, White Ash, Tupelo, and many more. But there are some really great non-native and hybrid trees that will do well here, too, such as Gingko, Star Magnolia, Tree Lilac, Kousa Dogwood, and Kentucky Coffee Tree. The most important consideration is that the tree is hardy to Zone 4 (USDA Hardiness Zone). Check out our main page for some recommended trees for our area. Rome sits on the border of Zone 4b-5a, so in more sheltered, downtown locations, you may be able to get away with a broader variety of ornamental species.

Q: I’ve notice that the City is trimming trees in my neighborhood. Why?

A: Chances are we are responding to a homeowner complaint or request. We also pro-actively engage in routine pruning and maintenance of our trees. One of our most common practices is to maintain vehicle and pedestrian clearances over streets and sidewalks. Concurrent practices include crown cleanings (to remove broken, dead, and diseased wood); structural correction (to mitigate structural problems in the crown); crown thinning or reduction (to redistribute weight and control growth in specific situations); and general hazard mitigation.

Q: Why does National Grid (Niagara Mohawk) leave our trees looking like that?

A: It’s called drop-crotch pruning. Many years ago, both the city and homeowners planted trees under or near primary conductors (power lines) with good intentions. However, these trees matured over 30 feet in height, and cause obstructions. It is the responsibility of National Grid to alleviate these obstructions in order that customers receive uninterrupted electric service to their households.

We have learned from this, and modified our planting practices accordingly. These days, when we plant, we specifically select only utility-friendly trees to plant under primary conductors. That is, trees we plant under power lines have a mature height of less than thirty feet. This way, street trees and power lines and co-exist without compromising service or beauty.

Some trees that we like to use under wires are Serviceberry, Flowering Crabapple, Japanese Tree Lilac, Eastern Redbud, Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Amur Maple, St. Gregory Hedge Maple, American Smoketree, Canada Red Chokecherry, Jack Callery Pear, and Globe Black Locust.

Q: I notice the City has been removing a lot of trees lately. Why?

A: We are, indeed, and we will continue to remove hazardous trees throughout the city as part of our risk management program. Each tree is inspected and determined to be either: a serious threat to life, property, and/or infrastructure; an impediment to street, sidewalk, or utility construction, or; a public nuisance. Each year, we remove roughly 100-150 street, park, or municipally-owned trees. Seven out of ten trees we remove are Silver Maples.

In response to losing a significant portion of our urban canopy to tree removals and wind events, we sustain an aggressive tree planting and replacement program. The City of Rome, for the past five years has planted an average of 300 trees per year on our streets and in our parks, in addition to new shrub, perennial, and flowerbed installations. Conservatively, that’s a 2:1 (some years 3:1) planting-to-removal ratio.

Central Maintenance

Central Maintenance is the vehicle maintenance department for the City of Rome, charged with writing specifications for all of the City’s equipment and maintaining it through out its life cycle. Central Maintenance is responsible for every piece of equipment that the city owns (with the exception of the fire department). From police cars to payloaders, the fleet currently stands at 247 pieces of equipment. In addition, Central Maintenance is responsible for roughly 100 pieces of light equipment such as, lawnmowers, chainsaws, pumps and generators. A complete parts room inventory is also maintained for around the clock repairs when needed.

Central Maintenance houses its own repair shop, capable of repairing just about every piece of equipment the City owns. In addition, they also have their own tire repair shop, weld shop, and body shop. During winter months the shop operates a minimum of two shifts for maintenance and repairs, as well as mechanics for plow and sander repairs. During summer months they operate on a six day work week, which allows time to cover VIP Transportation buses on Saturdays.

The department is comprised of ten dedicated employees. The Central Maintenance mechanics are skilled in all types or repair and are capable of working on and repairing any equipment the City owns; no one mechanic works on any one single type of equipment.

City Yard

The City Yard is one of the most diverse facets of City government and is responsible for maintaining and developing a number of tasks to keep the City of Rome safe, clean and a great place to raise a family.

Supervised by the Department of Public Works, the primary tasks of City Yard include snow plowing and removal, street sweeping, green waste and brush removal, waste transfer, street maintenance, inside and outside district road side mowing, pothole repair, tree planting and removal.

Other projects the City Yard accomplishes are culvert repair and installations, replacement of tree damaged concrete sidewalks.

The City Yard:

  • E-waste drop-off site is located at the Western Transfer Station @ 575 Perimeter Road, Rome, NY 13440; Phone Number: (315) 339-1990.
  • Partners with a number of other City Departments to demolish condemned buildings, install Christmas decorations and construct city beautification projects.
  • Is always one of the first responders to storm damage, power outages and road damage.

Chemical Waste Disposal:
Any Paint, Gasoline, Kerosene, Paint Thinner, Stripper, Oil, and any other Toxic or Combustible can be brought to:

Merf Plant
80 Leland Ave
Utica, NY
Monday-Friday 8:00AM-4:00PM
Saturday 7:00AM-2:00PM

The service is free to Oneida and Herkimer County residents.
Call for seasonal hours. (315) 733-1224

Street Maintenance:
Street maintenance crews provide the following services from the City Yard facility:

  • Street Sweeping
  • Pothole Repairs
  • Leaf & Brush Pick Up
  • Snow Plowing
  • Road Edge Mowing
  • Storm Water System Cleaning
  • Storm Water System Installation

Electrical

The City of Rome”s Electrical Department is tasked with the operation and maintenance of traffic lights, municipal fire alarm systems and electrical systems of most of the city buildings. The Electrical Department also installs, maintains, removes and stores all Christmas decorations including the light pole, City tree and Trinkaus decorations.  In addition, they provide 24-hour emergency response to all city departments and support all city events and functions such as the Taste of Rome, Honor America Days, Summer in the Square, Summer Sounds, and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

While the Electrical Department does maintain street lighting poles and conduits for underground street lighting, National Grid maintains the light fixtures. To contact National Grid please call 1-800-642-4272.

Street Light Outage:
To report a street light outage please note the pole number and the nearest street address and call National Grid at 1-800-642-4272. Follow the prompts by pressing “2” for outage and then specifying whether it is a power outage or street light outage.

Traffic Light Outage:
To report traffic light outage or malfunction call (315) 339-7779 or (315) 339-7780.

Engineering

The Engineering Department is responsible for:

  • Construction Projects
  • Street Reconstruction
  • Street Resurfacing
  • Water and Sanitary Sewer Projects
  • Curb Cuts (Both New and Widening of Existing Driveways)
  • Culvert Permit Applications
  • Tax Maps Information
  • Property Deeds Information

Parking

Responsible for maintenance and daily operation of the Liberty George Street Garage and the Liberty James Street Garage as well the enforcement and collection of all parking meters and enforcement of all non-metered parking lots throughout the city.

Traffic Maintenance

You would call this department if you needed information on traffic signs such as yield, stop signs or no parking signs, or wish to report sign damage. We can give you information on street and road painting.

Damaged or missing sign reports that we receive are handled on a priority basis. Signs that direct or restrict traffic flow such as stop signs, one way, or do not enter signs, to name a few, are usually repaired within 24 hours and no more than 72 hours. All other signs are usually repaired or partially repaired within one week, or very seldom, up to two weeks. Sometimes specific circumstances exist that may prolong repairs. Signs that are bent in such a manner as to create a condition, which may cause harm to pedestrians or vehicles, are handled promptly.

Our pavement-marking program usually runs from mid-May through September. This program consists of applying centerlines, edge lines, crosswalks, stop bars and directional arrows.

For inquiries or to report sign damage call us directly. If we are not available to answer your call please leave you name, telephone number and a brief message and we will get back to you as soon as we return.

If you are reporting sign damage that requires immediate attention and we are not in the office, please call the City Yard at 339-7778.

If you are calling to report a sign, which may require immediate attention, after working hours, call the Rome Police Department at 339-3311.

Transportation

Centro:

The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) provides public transportation and paratransit services across the City of Rome six days a week.

For service information, please visit: www.centro.org or call: (315) 442-3400

There will be no service on the following holidays:

New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. (we also do not operate on Sundays in Rome)

Birnie Bus : http://birniebus.com/routes.php

Public Works Contacts:

198 N Washington Street
Office 3C
Rome, NY 13440
Phone: (315) 336-6000
Fax: (315) 838-1167

Fred Schmidt
Commissioner of Public Works
(315) 339-7625
Email: Fred Schmidt

Diane Kelly
Administrative Assistant
(315) 339-7632
Email: Diane Kelly

Nancy Jones
(315) 339-7649
Email: Nancy Jones