Niles, Michigan...the City of four flags!

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Frequently Asked Questions


Questions About Services

Questions and Answers About Services

Back To TopWhat do I do if my sewer backs up into my home?
Call the Department of Public Works office at City Hall, give the contact person's name and the address where the problem is occurring. The Department will dispatch the sewer maintenance crew to the address and jet rod the sewer at no cost to the property owner. The property owner will then be advised as to what was found, if anything. Normally the problem exists in the sewer lateral, which is the line going from the main sewer to the building, however, at times there has been something lodged in the main sewer, such as roots, that will restrict the flow. If the problem is in the lateral, it is the responsibility of the property owner to contact someone to determine where the problem is in the line and make necessary repairs. If the sewer problem is found to be in the street right-of-way, and it becomes necessary to dig in the right-of-way, the City will pay for customary charges provided the homeowner and/or plumber follows the proper procedures. Contact the Department of Public Works for more information.

What do I do if I wish to have brush picked up?
The City of Niles offers a free limb and brush chipping program to its residents. Please keep the following rules in mind:

  1. Pickup is scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, from March thru mid-October. 
  2. Residents must call the Department of Public Works (683-4700 x 3062) by no later than noon on the Friday just prior to the scheduled pickup day.
  3. Material must be placed at the curb or edge of roadway by no later than 7:00 am on the scheduled pickup day, with the cut ends facing toward the street whenever possible.
  4. Material must be easily handled by one man.
  5. Vines, leaves, limbs and brush with dirt attached, rose and other thorn bushes, lawn and flower clippings, and limbs with wire or nails will not be picked up. 
  6. The City of Niles reserves the right to limit or reject the material to be picked up due to size, quantity, or type.
  7. The program is not intended for removal of tree topping or removal that would normally be handled by a tree removal contractor.
  8. Do not cover the water meter lid in the boulevard. This limits the meter reader's access to our meter which may cause inaccurate readings.

As long as you are on the list and have abided by the above rules, your items will be picked up. Please keep in mind that this program is extremely popular, with the pickup list at times surpassing 100 locations. Because of this the Street Department sometimes must work several days in order to complete the pickup. If you are on the list but your limbs or brush are not picked up on the first day of the pickup, please do not become upset or concerned. It is recommended that you place your brush out at the street just prior to the scheduled pickup starting date. Placing the brush out several days in advance may cause grass in the boulevard to become yellow or die.

Back To TopWhat happens to the mulch that is generated from the brush chipping program?
The mulch, which is ideal for placing around planting areas, walk paths, and other uses, is offered free of charge to area residents. Residents may pick up the mulch at the Street Department garage, 1815 Eagle St. (located directly behind Ring Lardner Junior High School), Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Residents must provide the necessary tools and containers. At various times the City will provide Saturday morning hours. Announcements will be made in the Niles Daily Star and on radio station WNIL-AM.

I'd like to make public sidewalk repairs to the walk in front of my home. Do I need a permit?
Yes, a permit s required for any type of public sidewalk work. The permit is free and is quite simple to obtain. Either fill out the on-line version of the form, or stop in at the Department of Public Works office at City Hall. You will need to know the address where the work is to be performed, what quantity you wish to construct or replace, the name of the contractor, and the date by which the work will be completed. The City will inspect the forms prior to the pouring of concrete and make a final inspection once the work is completed.

How do I find whether or not my refuse hauler is licensed to haul trash in the City?
The Department of Public Works issues permits to refuse haulers annually. Any refuse hauler that collects trash in the City of Niles is required to have a permit. There is a fee for the permit. Normally there are over 50 refuse hauling vehicles per year representing numerous companies that obtain the annual permits. The names are available upon request. It is also important to know that all licensed haulers in the City are required to offer recycling services to you. Contact the Department of Public Works for more information.

Back To TopHow does the leaf collection program work?
Normally, the fall leaf collection program begins the last week of October. The leaves are collected one ward at a time, starting the program in a different ward each year. The date that the program will begin will be announced in the Niles Daily Star, the Leader, South Bend Tribune, and on radio station WNIL-AM.

Please follow these few simple rules:

  1. Rake leaves to the back of the curb and not onto the pavement.
  2. Only clean leaves will be picked up. Leaves mixed with brush limbs trash ashes, or other debris will not be picked up.
  3. Leaves must be raked out in advance of the pickers. Leaves raked out afterwards will not be picked up.

The goal is to go around the City two complete times, weather permitting. It s important to rake as many leaves out as possible in advance of the first pick up, since the second time around may be halted or delayed by bad weather. Normally the crews work ten hours per day, Monday through Saturday. It is always our goal to complete the entire program prior to December 15th, again, weather permitting. Should you not be able to rake your leaves out in time to be picked up by the City, you may take them to the Southeast Berrien County Landfill, 3200 Chamberlain Rd., Buchanan, and dispose of them. There is no charge.

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