NO, our City has a policy that “growth pays for growth.” All costs related to growth are paid by sewer impact or “connection” fees. These fees are charged to the developer, and are usually passed on to the new property owner in the price of the property. The costs required to comply with our new wastewater permit do not include any expansion of the current treatment plant capacity. Any new development outside the existing City limits will be required to pay for expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. This fee will cover only the upgrade of the existing wastewater treatment plant and will not cover expansion costs
I want to widen my driveway by a couple of feet. Can I do that?
Yes you can if the existing driveway is less than ten feet wide. However, the drive approach must be widened at the same time, which would require an encroachment permit. You may not widen the driveway if the intent is to provide an additional parking space using the setback. Galt City Municipal Code limits the amount of area that can be paved. Contact Public Works for guidelines.
When will the Street Sweeper clean my street?
Sweepers operate on roads on a schedule. Generally, the sweeper runs on every street once a month. Commercial streets and collector streets are swept more often than residential streets. The sweeper assists in cleaning streets, but cannot remove all trash and debris. Property owners are responsible for keeping the street and sidewalk free of debris. The sweeper cannot pick up all debris and leaves are particularly hard to pick up. Additionally, placing leaves or dirt in the street is a serious violation of stormwater pollution prevention ordinances and can lead to serious fines. Place all dirt and leaves in your green waste disposal bin for pickup on your scheduled trash pick-up day. Remove all trash and leaves from the street gutter immediately in front of your property and dispose of in trash and green waste bins. The street sweeper will assist in keeping large road areas clean.
How can we get sidewalks clear of low hanging trees?
Trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner to trim. Trees should be trimmed at least 8 feet above the sidewalk and one foot wider than the sidewalk. Trees and bushes also cannot block viewing of traffic and parking signs. Trees located on private property whose branches interfere with electrical transmission lines may be altered by SMUD. If City-owned trees are encroaching on sidewalks or signage, contact Public Works to have trimmed.
How do I get my sidewalk repaired?
Sidewalk maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. A licensed contractor should perform the work. Homeowners may request an encroachment permit at no cost for sidewalk repairs. Per city ordinance, the adjacent property owner is responsible for maintenance and/or replacement.
May I leave piles of topsoil or bark on the street or sidewalk for a home improvement project?
No. A permit is required to place or work in the City right-of-way. Due to stormwater protection practices, the City will most likely not approve a permit for placing materials on the street or sidewalk.
A streetlight has been out on my street for two months. Why hasn’t the City repaired it yet?
The City repairs City-owned streetlights and SMUD-owned but City-maintained streetlights. Public Works relies on citizens to report streetlight problems for repair. We do not have staff that specifically locates streetlight problems. Please contact Public Works at (209) 366-7260.
Who can I call to report a pothole?
If the pothole is on a city street, call the Public Works Department at (209) 366-7260 between the hours of 7:30 am and 5:30 pm.
Why am I waiting at a red light when there is no cross traffic?
It could be that the signal is malfunctioning. If you notice a signal that suddenly does not function like it normally did, please contact Public Works at (209) 366-7260 so we can check it out. In many cases that is the only way we will know if something is wrong.
How can we stop speeding on my street?
The speed limit is set based on standards found in the California Vehicle Code, except in residential and school areas where the limit is 25 mph. The Vehicle code requires an engineering study be performed in order to set the speed limit. Lowering a speed limit in hopes of slowing down vehicles generally does not work, and is not necessarily enforceable by California Law. Drivers tend to drive at a speed, which they feel is comfortable. A STOP sign is intended to determine the right-of-way at an intersection. It is a rather poor speed control device. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of a STOP sign on speed ranges from 100 to 150 feet from the sign, after which a vehicle will regain its original speed or faster. The City does not install speed humps or bumps on any public streets. The speed hump is not considered an official traffic control device and its use could render the City liable should any problems arise. Speed humps may also delay response time for emergency vehicles. If a speeding problem exists, contact the Police Department at (209) 366-7000 for traffic enforcement.
My street name sign is missing. Can the City install one?
Contact Public Works at (209) 366-7260 to replace missing signs.
I can’t see down the street because cars park right next to my driveway. What can be done?
The City can prohibit parking for various safety reasons. Parking, in residential areas, is not restricted due to the impact on homeowners. A vehicle can legally park anywhere on any public street. Examples of illegally parked vehicles are: vehicles parked in excess of a consecutive period of 72 hours, detached camp trailer, carry all, dumpster, and semi-trailer between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am; and a vehicle with a gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more.
Employees of other local businesses park in front of my business. Can I get limited time parking signs installed?
Limited time parking is expensive to enforce. You may submit a request to Public Works but unless the Police Department has sufficient enforcement personnel, restrictions will not be approved.
I pay a stormwater fee. What does this money pay for?
The Stormwater Fund helps cover the costs of programs for preventive maintenance, drainage repair, construction projects, and stormwater pollution prevention. The Stormwater Utility also funds repair and construction projects that directly target local flooding problems. Typical repair requirements include blockage by tree roots, physical damage from aging and settling and landscape conditions altering over time.
My gutter is flooded at the drain inlet on the street. How do I get this unplugged?
The property owner is responsible for keeping the gutter free of leaves and other debris. If the drain inlet gets plugged during a storm, the property owner may pull out debris with a rake or shovel. NEVER REMOVE THE INLET GRATE! If your efforts to clear the inlet blockage are unsuccessful, contact Public Works at 209-366-7260; or after hours, Galt PD at 209-366-7000 for assistance.
What can I do to conserve water?
Water conservation is easy. Just following a few simple tips can make a really big difference:
Water when evaporation is low, between midnight and 10:00 am. Try to avoid using water during the peak-use hours of 5:00 am – 8:00 am.
Follow an odd/even water schedule.
Use a drip irrigation system to prevent runoff by applying water directly to the plant’s root zone.
Select water efficient landscape plants.
Sweep or rake up debris instead of hosing it away.
Use a pistol grip nozzle on your hose to prevent water from running continuously.
Adjust your sprinkler heads to make sure water is going where it’s needed and not on sidewalks and driveways.
Do not cycle/run sprinkler system too long into the street gutter. Water should not drain.
I have discolored water coming out of my faucets and in my toilets. Can the City come out and fix the problem?
First check to see if ONLY the hot water is discolored. If the discolored water occurs when using hot water, this discoloration is caused by sedimentation in the hot water heater and generally indicates that the hot water heater should be flushed. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper procedure to flush the hot water heater. Most manufacturers recommend that hot water heaters should be flushed once per year.
If your cold water is discolored, it is generally caused by iron, manganese or air. These are not hazardous. Any change in the flow of water can cause this to occur. If this occurs, customers should flush water from their main hose bib, usually located in the front of the house for approximately 3 minutes. If this does not clear the problem, contact the City Public Works at (209) 366-7260. The City works to minimize this problem by periodically flushing water mains throughout the system.
What do I do if I need to report a sewer mainline blockage or other sewer maintenance?
If you need to report a sewer mainline blockage, or any other need for sewer maintenance, staff can be contacted by phone at any time. During normal working hours, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, please call (209) 366-7260. To report an incident during off hours, contact the Galt Police Department at (209) 366-7000 and they will contact on-call maintenance personnel.
My plumber said there is a problem with my sewer and that the City will fix it. Is this true?
Actually, the City is responsible for maintaining the sewer mainline only. Maintenance of a sewer lateral attached from the residence to the mainline serving private property is the responsibility of the property owner. The property owner must clear line blockages to the mainline. Call your plumber first. If the blockage is caused by damage to the sewer lateral in the street, contact the Public Works Department at (209) 366-7260. There are two exceptions. When the lateral service from the sidewalk to the sewer main is actually broken, the City will replace the broken line. If a tree maintained by the City damages a sewer lateral, the City will repair the lateral. If your plumber discovers a damaged line in the sidewalk or street area, he should contact Public Works. A permit will be required for the City for such repairs. Permits for work on your property are issued by the City’s Building Department at (209) 366-7200. Permits for work within public right-of-way (sidewalk and street area) are issued by the Engineering Division at (209) 366-7260.
Why are wastewater rates increasing so quickly?
The major cause is our National Pollutions Elimination Discharge System (NPDES) Permit requirements. Your Elected Officials along with City staff have been trying everything possible to mitigate the cost impacts of the requirements. Everything the City does must comply with State law, is audited every year and is open to public review. We also compare our rates to other Cities in the region and find that we are doing well in keeping our rates as low as possible.
Is there anything we can do to ease the burden of higher rates?
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) is available and has the added advantage of allowing average monthly billing for residential customers. Sign up at the Finance Department at 380 Civic Drive. In addition, the City will be updating accounting software, which may allow some “level-loading” of annual water and wastewater usage for customers on meters.