District Operations

The Public Works Districting Operations started in the fall of 1994.  The concept was simple; place a crew within each of the five (5) council districts and that crew was to perform tasks only within that district.  It was believed that a much higher level of accountability would surface spurned by the sense of ownership the geographic boundaries would naturally create.  Districting Operations became an instant success not only from a customer service perspective, but also with our employees.  It continues to be successful to this day due to the pride that our employees feel giving the City of Portland residents and visitors the best customer service city-wide all year long.

During the months from April to November, the Districting crews work on the following functions:

  • Sidewalk Maintenance & Repairs:  Includes brick, concrete, and bituminous repairs for non-funded projects (non-Capital Improvement Plan, (CIP) or Housing and Community Development (HCD)). Although if time does allow we have worked off the CIP & HCD funds.
  • Street Maintenance & Repairs:  Again, not funded projects. Includes making repairs to utility trenches, three (3) years and older. Some re-shaping of roadways, street shoulder repairs and even some small overlaying projects.
  • Curbing Maintenance:  Includes making repairs to small lengths of curbing up to entire city blocks if time allows including granite, concrete, and bituminous for non-funded projects.
  • Pothole Repair:  Although most potholes occur during winter and early spring, potholes repair is an ongoing 12-month per year function.
  • Unaccepted Street Maintenance:   Portland has hundreds of miles of gravele (unaccepted streets), which are maintained by your Districting crews. Each of these graveled roadways are re-shaped, re-graveled or even re-graded each year. 
  • Lawn Damage repairs:   Inevitably, each spring we encounter lawn damage caused by winter plowing.  Because Districts 3, 4, & 5 have fewer streets that are curbed, this damage is predominantly in these outer areas.
  • Graffiti Removal:   A never ending battle, but we try to keep up with removing the markings when they are brought to our attention or when seen by the crews.
  • Assisting Public Events:   Portland continues to be the “Event Center” of the State of Maine. As these events need support, we provide it, Barricades/cones, mowing, litter removal before & after.
  • Assisting Neighborhood cleanup:  Each spring & summer we have several neighborhoods that Districting crews work closely with on neighborhood cleanups, some organized and some community service. We supply both staff and tools for the clean-up.
  • Assisting in Emergency: Responding to the growing needs of Emergency situations (fires, power outages, police standoffs, microburst, vehicles accidents, etc.). 
  • Fence & Guardrail Maintenance:  Within several areas of the city we maintain all types of fences and guardrails.
  • Weed control:  Maintaining a weed control program throughout the City is no small task which includes all of the down town District/PDD, all main arterials as needed, all traffic island as needed and some monument areas in the Open Spaces/Parks, with 95% of this being contracted out. Remainder done by districting crews.
  • Roadside Open Ditch Maintenance:  There are miles of open roadside ditches to be kept clean and free-running throughout the City.
  • Driveway and Culvert Maintenance:   Miles of open culverts throughout the City need to be kept clean and replaced as needed.  Several of these culverts are replaced by your Districting crews.
  • Roadside Planter:  Districting crews take care of several and as the City installs new Island planters we will need to take them on.