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GUIDE TO CITY SERVICES

Most of the City of Big Rapids Offices are located at City Hall, 226 North Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids, Michigan, 49307. The office hours are 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

If you have a specific problem and you are looking for who to call click here.

CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

(231) 796-8945

524 North State Street

Appointed by the City Commission, the City Attorney provides legal advice at Commission meetings, prosecutes ordinance violators, and represents the City in all lawsuits and other legal matters. Responsible for the legal work of the city, both civil and criminal, serves as legal advisor to Mayor and City Commission, City Manager, City departments and various boards/commissions. The City Attorney also reviews all ordinances, contracts and other legal documents.

CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE

City Hall (231) 592-4020

The City Manager directs the operations of all City Departments. The City Manager is appointed by the City Commission and implements, with the aid of City staff, the policies set by the Commission.

CLERK'S OFFICE

VOTER REGISTRATION City Hall 592-4020

The Clerk serves as the custodian of all documents, as well as the Chief Elections Officer and the Freedom of Information Act Coordinator. This office interacts with the media, develops publications for employees and the public and provides public relations assistance to other departments.

HOUSING COMMISSION

796-8689

9 Parkview Village, Big Rapids

The Big Rapids Housing Commission operates 287 units of public housing in Parkview and Evergreen Village, the Nisbett – Fairman Buildings, Stepping Stones Childcare/Learning Center, a Homeownership Program and provides management services for Water Tower Place Apartments.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

592-4033 -- City Hall

This department is responsible for all telecommunications for the municipal buildings as well as Internet/Intranet development. This department researches new information technologies and implements advanced solutions requiring hardware, software, and systems integration on the City's Networking system. It also performs Maintenance, Training, and Support - Maintains and operates the city's network computer systems which includes almost 200 microcomputers in use throughout city government.

This department is also responsible for providing assistance to employees through a comprehensive support center and maintains the city's voice mail/processing system. In addition, training is provided by in-house staff or commercial training centers and workshops. This department also monitors compliance of franchised cable television operator(s) and policy issues related to cable operations, provides assistance in the leasing of space on City owned water towers, as well as managing the land management department.

NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES

Including:

Zoning -592-4055
Community Development - 592-4036
Planning -592-4035
Rental Inspections - 592-4036
Location - City Hall

The Zoning Division provides plan review, permit issuance, and inspection of all construction, demolition, and site work in the City. It enforces building and construction codes, natural features, soil erosion and sedimentation rules, historic preservation rules, housing, and zoning ordinances. Provides periodic inspection and certification of all rental housing and handles complaints regarding these above ordinances. It also operates the City's central permit desk, maintains a supply of construction code books, coordinates appeals of certain boards/commissions, and performs code surveys of structures. Encourages, assists, and monitors historic preservation activities. Currently, the Building Division has been contracted to the Mecosta County Building Inspector 592-0105.

The Community Development Division assists very low income Big Rapids residents in meeting housing, human services and economic development needs primarily through referrals to local, city-supported agencies and through initiatives to help meet emerging needs such as special projects for youths and the homeless. The Community Development Department's rehabilitation program provides financing, housing rehabilitation and other technical assistance to eligible homeowners and nonprofit housing agencies.

The Planning Division prepares and updates the city master plan and capital improvements program to guide Big Rapids' short and long-range development. The department also coordinates city review of annexation, zoning, site plan, site condominium, land division and plat proposals for private development. In addition, the department coordinates review of major public developments and initiates land use ordinance revisions. The Planning Department submits reports to the Planning Commission, which makes recommendations to the City Commission. This department also makes available aerial photographs, maps, census data and other information.

This Division helps maintain rental certificates to approved landlords, and helps maintain the rental inspection system, that is performed by the Fire Division. The main goal of this department is to protect the tenant from unfair/unsafe housing in the City.

PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT- Including the Police and Fire Divisions and Parking Violations

435 North Michigan

EMERGENCY 911
Non Emergency 527-0005
Non-Emergency - After Hours 796-4811

The Police Division is responsible for enforcing Michigan Laws, City ordinances and maintaining order. The fire division suppresses and prevents fires, educates the public about fire safety, provides emergency medical services, reinforces fire codes and regulations, inspects buildings, and investigates fires.

TREASURER'S OFFICE

FINANCE - ADMINISTRATION . . . . . 592-4010
ASSESSING DIVISION....592-4030
INCOME TAX DIVISION....592-4012
Location - City Hall

Finance and Accounting - This division provides general administrative oversight for the divisions of City Hall and administers long-term capital financing, provides revenue forecasting, as well as serving several boards and committees. Accounting services are rendered to other city departments through processing payroll, billings to customers, and accounts payable. Additionally, this division is responsible for reconciling cash and investments funds, tracking purchase orders, filing the city's tax returns and performing internal audits. The City Treasurer is the custodian of all city monies, funds, and securities.

Collection Services - The Treasurer collects taxes for all taxing units within the city. Other collections include delinquent personal property taxes, utility billings, and other revenues. This department is also responsible for refuse collection from residents. Provides printed information on managing refuse, recyclables, compostables and ways to reduce waste. Collection - Provides a company that manages the weekly collection of residential refuse from curbside and dumpsters; weekly collection of yard waste (from April through November from curbside-collected residences); weekly commercial refuse and recycling collection from business and school locations; and empties street litter cans. The Treasurer's Office is also responsible for rendering utility bills and managing the maintenance of residential and commercial meters.

The Assessing division appraises all real and personal property for the purposes of taxation, prepares assessment rolls, processes lot divisions, and ownership changes, which include Homestead and Transfer Affidavits.

The Income Tax division is responsible for the collection and enforcement of income taxes from residents or employees who work within the City limits. This department also is in charge of purchasing.

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

Charles E. Fairman Pool, 100 Hutchinson 796-7798
City Garage, 325 N. Dekrafft 796-8542
Public Works Department, City Hall 592-4015
Recreation Division, 226 North Michigan Avenue 592-4038
Water Billing Questions 592-4010
Dial-A-Ride, 1829 N. State Street 796-8675
Roben Hood Airport, 21425 18 Mile Rd. 796-5600
Water Treatment Plant, 730 Osceola 796-6231
Wastewater Treatment Plant, 500 River Street 796-8483

The Public Works Department (formerly the Engineering Office) is responsible for the Pool, the City Garage, Recreation, Water Distribution and Waste Water Distribution. The Engineering Department (previously under the Public Services Department) is responsible for Waste Water Treatment (at the plant) and Water Treatment (at the Plant).

The recreation division's services include city parks, recreation facilities and a variety of leisure opportunities. The main service areas include Park Operations and Maintenance, Recreation Facilities and Services, Park and Environmental Planning and Design, Administrative Services, and cooperative recreation services with the Recreation and Community Education Department of the Big Rapids Public Schools.

The City Garage is responsible for the procurement, maintenance, and disposal of city- owned equipment, with the exception of Fire Department equipment and some Parks and Water Utilities equipment. Responsible for street maintenance as well as water and sewer system upgrades and maintenance.