Jeremy Ritter, Department of Public Works Supervisor
Phone: (989) 224-8944 ext. 229
Fax: (989) 224-2204

Emergency 'After Hours' Phone: (989)224-9192

The City of St. Johns Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining the (44 miles of) street network within the City limits.  Street sweeping, paving, snow removal and salting, and pothole repair fall under the DPW responsibilities.  Public Works Department is also responsible for the brush and leaf pickup in the City. 

Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions

Public Works Department Services

**City Strive to fill potholes--asking city residents to help**

Do you know where there is a pothole?  Please send the location to us by clicking on the link on the city's homepage or call us at (989) 224-8944 (Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)


Per Ordinance 565 the City is enforcing the truck traffic and weight limits on all city streets.  For further information regarding this ordinance:

Weight Limits (Click to read Ord. 565 in its entirety)

Parking Prohibited

Parking Prohibited (Per City Ordinance Chapter 71, Section 71.09)

No person shall be permitted to park or leave standing, Unattended a motor vehicle or any other vehicle on the public streets of the city between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the same day.

Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon being found responsible therefore, be punished as a civil infraction.

Parking is prohibited on a sidewalk or between curb and sidewalk or imaginary line of curb or sidewalk.

(Ord. 422, passed 9-12-2994; Am. Ord. 506, passed 4-22-2002)

(For special circumstances or to receive permission to park, contact the St. Johns Police Department between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at (989) 224-6721.  In some instances, permission may be granted to park on the street overnight.  For emergency situations after-hours, please call 911.)

Trash & Recycling Information

Household Refuse Pickup

The City provides weekly residential refuse disposal through one licensed hauler. Please know for the health, safety and welfare of the community use of the green bag system is mandatory. Residents cannot contract with private haulers for residential collection.

Granger collects trash and recycling for city residents. For detailed information about your service click here. 

Refuse & Recycling Pickup Schedule 

North of M-21 & West of US-27 - Wednesday Pickup

North of M-21 & East of US-27 - Wednesday Pickup

South of M-21 & West of US-27 - Friday Pickup

South of M-21 & East of US-27 - Wednesday Pickup


Recycling is collected on a bi-weekly schedule. Please visit this link to see your recycle pickup dates https://www.grangernet.com/st-johns-recycling/ . (See Customer Guide above for collection map.) All recycling is collected in a Curby Recycler cart.

Accepted items include mixed paper, tin cans & aluminum, boxboard, corrugated cardboard and brown paper bags, plastic bottle & jugs (#1 through #7) and colored glass.

Correct replacement of your Curby Recycler is important since it is collected by an automated truck. For placement instructions and detailed recycling guidelines, click here

If you recently moved to the area and do not have a large brown recycling cart from Granger, please call City Offices at 989-224-8944 during normal business hours   (M-F 8:00-5:00).


-Each residence is issued a refuse cart (brown lid) and it should be placed curbside by 7:00 am on or before your scheduled trash pickup day. 

-Each residence is issued a recycle cart (yellow lid). This cart is for recyclables only. Please do not put trash in these carts.

-Old furniture, appliances, water heaters, beds, or other large items will not be picked up. It is the resident's responsibility for disposal of these items. You can contact Granger directly to arrange to have these items picked up, at your cost or you may wait and dispose of these items during the Spring Cleanup in May. 

For those who choose to recycle, all recyclable items must be placed in the brown/yellow recycling cart that was provided by Granger. All other bins or containers will not be picked up and a flyer will be left behind. 

For detailed trash/recycling information, click here

Batteries - Recycling (Click Here)--- Bee's Sports at 2138 S. Business 127, St. Johns will accept your lead acid and alkaline batteries, at no cost to you.

Batteries/Cell Phones/Ink Jet Cartridges can be recycled in City Offices.
Types of Batteries Accepted: Nickel Cadmium/Lead acid batteries/Mercuic oxide, button cell batteries/Lithium batteries/Alkaline or zinc carbon batteries. No auto or marine batteries will be accepted in city offices.

Utility/Street Permit Application (Click Here)

Yard Waste Collection

Collection Schedule for Bagged Yard Waste:

Monday -- South of M-21
Tuesday - North of M-21 

Yard waste, including grass clippings, yard and garden vegetation, small sticks and leaves must be put in biodegradable paper yard waste bags.  Only biodegradable paper yard waste bags will be collected. Plastic bags will not be collected. 

Debris raked into piles in the street will not be picked up and blocks the flow of water into the storm sewers.  All yard waste should be properly bagged for collection and must not be overfilled.

The City will not pick up any stumps, logs, construction debris, concrete, rocks, stones or animal waste.

Sidewalk Replacement Reimbursement

The city will reimburse property owners $1.75 per square foot for sidewalk replacement ($2.25 per square foot if entire block is replaced) and half the cost to a maximum of $.70 per square foot for sidewalk sections raised.  For driveway approach repairs and replacement there is  reimbursement of half the cost up to $200.00.  Sidewalk and approach construction must meet City Construction Standards.  Inspections are required.  Work performed without inspections will not be eligible for reimbursement.  

For additional information please contact Public Works Department at (989) 224-8944, Ext. 229.

Home Hazardous Waste Collection Program

Clinton County offers Home Hazardous Waste Collection in the spring or fall. Please check local newspapers for schedules. Residents desiring to use the service will be required to schedule an appointment to drop off materials. Residents are encouraged to utilize this service to dispose of unwanted waste considered hazardous and not permitted to be placed with the weekly trash. These include but not limited to: Pesticides and herbicides; solvents; turpentine; oil-based paints (not latex); rodent baits; poisons and repellents; chemical household cleaners; automotive antifreeze; grease; and automotive batteries.

All items to be disposed of must be in original containers. Unidentified substances cannot be accepted. Leaky items should be placed in a plastic or metal container with a secure top. Containers are limited to five (5) gallons or 40 pounds of weight. Substances must not be mixed together.

The following items cannot be accepted: Explosives; radioactive materials (smoke detectors); motor oils; or pressurized tanks (fire extinguishers, LP tanks). Latex paints are not considered hazardous waste and cannot be accepted. The program is available to Clinton County residents. Identification will be required at the drop-off site. No commercial waste will be accepted. No fee is assessed for this service.

Tornado Testing Sirens

At noon on the first Saturday of the month (April thru September), the City tests the City’s tornado sirens (early warning system). This test will be conducted unless there is severe weather in the area.

The City of St. Johns has a tornado siren in the City Park.  This siren replaced three old sirens that were located at the St. Johns High School, Mahle and Jiffy Muffler (M-21 and Baker Street).

Tornado sirens are located at the City Park, Sparrow Clinton Hospital and just east of Federal Mogul.

As always, use safe weather practices for protection of your family when severe weather is approaching.

Tornado Safety Tips

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dictates the tone of the fire and tornado whistles.  The fire whistle is stationary and has a varying tone that sounds like it goes up and down.  The tornado sirens have a steady tone, but they rotate around.  The fire whistle is no longer sounded as an “all clear” after the tornado threat is over; listen to the television or radio for the all clear.

The following tornado safety information was obtained from the Michigan Department of State Police Emergency Management Division:

  • A tornado/severe thunderstorm watch is issued whenever conditions exist for severe weather to develop.  Watches give you time to plan and prepare, keep an eye to the sky and listen for further weather bulletins.  A tornado/severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the National Weather Service whenever a tornado or severe thunderstorm actually has been sighted or is strongly indicated by radar.  You should act immediately and seek shelter when you first hear the warning.
  • A tornado is a column of violently rotating winds extending down from a thunderstorm cloud and touching the surface of the earth.  A funnel cloud basically is a tornado that does not touch ground.
  • Where should you seek shelter?  If you are home, a basement offers the greatest safety.  Seek shelter under heavy furniture if possible.  If there is no basement, take cover in the center of the house, on the lowest floor, in a small room such as a bathroom or closet.  If you are in a mobile home, go to a prearranged substantial shelter.  If you are driving a vehicle, get out of the vehicle.  Find shelter in a basement, ditch or ravine away from the vehicle.  If you are at work or school, follow advance plans to move to interior hallways or small rooms at lowest level.
  • Avoid areas with glass and wide, free span roofs.
  • If you are in open country, get to a sturdy building if possible, or lie in a ditch or depression.  Hold onto something attached to the ground if possible.

Tornado Facts:

  1. Each year, Michigan averages 16 tornadoes.  In the last 45 years, approximately 240 people were killed due to Michigan Tornadoes
  2. Tornadoes can occur anytime during the day or night, and during any month of the year.  Most tornadoes occur during the months of April, May, June, and July; usually in the late afternoon or early evening hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  3. Tornadoes usually travel from the southwest at an average speed of 30 miles per hours, although some tornadoes follow erratic patterns with speeds approaching 70 miles per hour.
  4. Tornadoes that develop from early season thunderstorms tend to be the most severe.
  5. The average tornado travels a distance of around five miles and is on the ground less than ten minutes.  Tornadoes don't always follow the norm and have been known to ravel 100 miles and stay on the ground for over an hour.
  6. The average width of a tornado as it touches the ground is 200-400 yards, but may be up to a mile across.
  7. Tornadoes usually rotate counter-clockwise.  Typical Michigan tornadoes produce winds of 17-125 miles per hour.
  8. The greatest frequency of tornadoes occurs with temperatures between 70-75 degrees, and relative high humidity.
  9. Tornadoes do their destructive work through the combined action of strong rotary winds, flying debris, and the partial vacuum in their center.

The City of St. Johns tests its tornado sirens the first Saturday of the month from April to September.

Brush Collection Schedule (Pick-Up Between 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

  • Section 1 First Week of the Month West of Clinton Ave and North of M-21
  • Section 2 Second Week of the Month East of Clinton Ave and North of M-21
  • Section 3 Third Week of the Month West of Clinton Ave and South of M-21
  • Section 4 Fourth Week of the Month East of Clinton Ave and South of M-21

***Brush collection is suspended during leaf pickup and November thru December. 

Composting Information

Backyard Composting

Backyard composters take note.  Ordinance #401 regulates residential composting operations by requiring:

  1. A ten (10) foot setback from structures and property lines.
  2. That compost sites be in rear yards only.
  3. Compost facilities be constructed of wood, fencing, wooden or steel barrels.  That the size not exceed 4 x 6 and height not to exceed 4 feet.
  4. The compost be turned with lime or other chemicals added as needed to be operated as a compost pile.
  5. That the compost facility not be a source of odors; that there be no evidence of vermin; and no evidence of household refuse, trash or food waste in the facility.

Compost (Free)

Compost from the leaf and yard waste collections is given back to the City residents FREE of charge. Compost is great for your gardens and flower beds. Compost is usually available at DPW, 1000 North BR US 127. Watch for public service announcements on availability of your free compost.  Must load your own containers; site is open 24/7.

Compost Drop-off Site

Take leaves and brush to the Department of Public Works, 1000 North BR US 127.  Please use the Kuntz Drive Entrance. This facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Tree Planting in the Right-of-Way

A permit must be obtained from the City to plant vegetation in the parkway (the area between the curb and sidewalk or where sidewalk would be placed).  The City regulates the type of trees  planted in parkway, as well as the trimming, removing or spraying of trees in this area.  Permitted street trees include hardy oak and maple.  Ash trees prohibited due to Emerald Ash Borer.

The Department of Public Works may send notices to individuals who have planted prohibited trees, bushes and shrubs in the parkway.  Vegetation may have to be removed or trimmed to prevent vision problems for motorists.

Tree Program: The City of St. Johns Tree Planting Program is a beautification effort, the tree is to be planted in the right-of-way (between sidewalk and curb). The City of St. Johns provides the tree and planting services.  To inquire about this program or to be placed on the list to receive a tree, please contact our DPW supervisor at jritter@stjohnsmich.com or call 989-224-8944 Ext. 229. To learn more about trees within the city limits, please visit our code of ordinances, Chapter 96:  Trees. 

Sump Pump Discharge

Sump pump discharges for drainage and groundwater cannot be connected to the sanitary sewer, but must be connected to the storm sewer where available.

Snow Emergencies

Snow and ice control procedures shall be carried out by the Public Services Department as described herein. However, should a severe snow storm occur, once declared a "SNOW EMERGENCY," the Water, Wastewater and Public Works personnel will be notified to stand by and direct their assistance to a designated "Supervisor in Charge." This individual shall coordinate all snow removal tasks utilizing all available manpower and equipment to accomplish necessary snow removal operations with the following priority:

    1.  Public street system - Priority one, then priority town then priority three streets

    2.  Downtown parking lots and public owned alleys

    3.  Public safety buildings: Police and Fire

                    a.  Wastewater Treatment Facility and Lift Stations
                    b.  Water Department and Well Sites
                    c.  Depot

    4.  Designated Public Walkways/Bike Paths

Other--personnel will be allowed to work a maximum of 16 continuous hours, after which they must have 8 hours of rest before they may return to work. Director or Supervisor in charge will call in additional personnel from other departments and if needed, outside contractual services to assist in the removal of snow and ice until snow emergency has been abated.

Once completed, the "Supervisor in Charge" will declare the snow emergency abated and all other snow and ice control measures shall be carried out as identified herein.

Snow Crews

City crews work long hours after a heavy snowfall to clear the streets and City parking lots as quickly as possible. Please move vehicles off City streets and out of City parking lots as snow removal equipment does not maneuver easily around smaller vehicles. Be aware that loaders clearing snow from the streets need room to operate and may back up unexpectedly. 

Snow and Ice control Plan

When a weather event requires snow/ice removal, the Public Services Department shall endeavor to achieve the following:

  1.  Priority One Streets shall have cleared and passable pavement at all times through plowing and the application of salt.
  2. Priority Two Streets shall be plowed, and salt will be applied to selected intersections.
  3. Priority Three Streets shall be plowed only, which may result in these streets having a layer of snow and/or ice left in place.

  1. Priority One Streets--Snow and ice removal is performed to provide cleared and passable pavements at all times on designated streets. (State Trunk lines, M-21 and BR 127 are done by Clinton County Road Commission.)
  2.  Priority Two Streets--Plowing is conducted after a snow accumulation of two inches or more in depth following the completion of major streets.  Placement of salt at all intersections, STOP sign approaches, and approaches to major school crossing will be conducted with the snow removal operations or as needed.
  3. Priority Three Streets--Plowing is conducted after a snow accumulation of two inches or more in depth during normal working hours.  When  snowfall accumulation exceeds four inches, overtime operations will be initiated to conduct snow removal following completion of priority one streets and priority two street.
  4. Eight and Ten Foot Wide Bike Paths--Bicycle path will be cleared after snow accumulation of two inches or more in depth running normal working hours.  Removal of snow will be performed in conjunction with parking lot snow removal operations.  Ice control measures are not performed.

Public Parking Lots and Alleys

Snow and ice removal in the downtown parking lots and alleys is performed by Public Services during the hours of 12:00 AM to 7:00 AM. During the daytime these downtown sites have high volume traffic and the use of the parking lots and street parking makes it very difficult to do an efficient job of snow and ice removal. After an accumulation of three inches of snow, work schedules will be adjusted to have employees perform snow and ice removal into the center of the streets from parking lots, alleys and street parking areas. This snow will be collected and hauled to a specified storage site by the supervisor in charge. If snow accumulation is about six inches, the department will initiate the use of an outside contractor for the purpose of loading and hauling snow from the downtown area to the specified storage area. 

Public Sidewalks

The removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner in accordance with City Ordinance (s) 95.84 (1990 code 4.70 or 95.84 (1990 code 4.71). Privately-owned vehicles intended primarily for travel on public streets and highways shall not be driven on any pedestrian path sidewalks/brick pavers for the purpose of snow removal.

Fire Hydrant (Adopt)

Keep the area around fire hydrants clear of snow and ice so the Fire Department can access the hydrant during a fire emergency.



Sidewalks and Hydrants Clear of Snow and Ice

City Code requires all snow and ice to be cleared from sidewalks within twelve (12) hours after precipitation ceases during daylight hours. When snow and ice occurs during nighttime hours, it must be cleared by 6:00 PM the following day. Be careful when removing or having snow removed from your drive. It is against the state statute to deposit snow, ice or slush in the street or on the shoulder of the road. A citation may be issued to individuals violating this code (Motor Vehicle Code P.A. 82 of 1978, 257.677a). Please be courteous to your neighbors, do not push or blow your snow in their yards.

Snow/Ice Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving tips – Clean all snow and ice from your windows, including rear and side windows; so you can see traffic from all directions.  Don’t forget to clear snow from headlights and taillights; so other motorists can see your brake lights, directional's and headlights.  If your windows fog up, wait until the defroster clears them  adequately for good vision.  Taking a few extra minutes to clear snow and foggy windows may prevent an accident.

Prepare vehicles for emergencies – Equip your vehicle:

Winter gear – ice scraper, can of de-icer, small folding shovel, bag of sand or kitty litter, rug or traction mat.

Trunk gear – basic tool kit (screwdrivers, wrenches, adjustable pliers, pocketknife, duct tape and fuse puller), spare tire, tire jack, lug wrench, board to place under jack, aerosol tire inflator, windshield washer fluid, premixed coolant with water, gloves, rags, paper towels, hand cleaner and jumper cables.

Safety gear – flares or reflective triangles, “call police” sign, reflective vest, first aid kit, small fire extinguisher, blanket, drinking water and non-perishable snacks.

Glove compartment gear – owner’s manual, registration, insurance card, accident report form, emergency phone numbers, waterproof flashlight and fresh batteries.