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When is city hall open?
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., except for federal holidays and weather emergencies.
How do I find my polling place?
The Clewiston Youth Center building located at 110 West Osceola Avenue is the designated voting place for the City's General Election. The candidates are voted at-large (no districts).
Where do I apply for a dog license?
Dog licenses are handled by the Animal Control Department.
How do I run for the city commission?
To be eligible to run for a city commission seat, you must be a resident of Clewiston and be a registered voter. The Supervisor of Elections' office handles the City's elections You may pick up a package at their office anytime, but must turn it in during the qualifying period, June 16 - June 20. You may contact the Supervisor of Elections at 675-5230 or 983-1464 for more information.
My street light is out. Who do I call?
Call Clewiston Utilities at 863-983-1454.
There is a dead animal on our street. Will the City pick it up?
Yes. Contact Animal Control at 983-1474.
When do I need a building permit?
* Building or remodeling a house * Re-roofing and/or residing * Installing a shed * Adding or enclosing a garage * Building an addition * Replacing windows * Changing or installing heating or air conditioning * Constructing a swimming pool * Putting in a deck or porch * Installing a fence * Erecting a sign * All commercial work If you have any questions, call Building Official Travis Reese at 863-983-1500.
Where do I register to vote?
Stop by the Hendry County Suboffice at the Clewiston Town Center (old K-mart plaza) or call them at 863-675-5230.
What is Automated Curbside Sanitation Service?
Automated curbside sanitation service is the use of the newest and most efficient technology. Residents are provided with a special 96-gallon rollout cart. Collection trucks are equipped with a hydraulic mechanism that lifts, empties the cart, and returns it to the ground. The process takes about ten seconds and can be performed without the driver leaving the truck. The resident must roll the cart to the curb on pick up day and return it to their yard at the end of the day following pick up.
What are the advantages of the Automated Curbside Sanitation Service?
* Residents no longer have to buy garbage cans. Carts are provided by the City at no cost to the resident. The carts are standardized, convenient, maneuverable, easy to roll, and durable. * Carts provide positive litter control, reduce odors, and eliminate pest and animal pilferage problems. * Eliminates the need for employees to go on private property. * Eliminates manual loading of refuse, thus reducing job-related injuries to collectors; significant savings on risk and worker's compensation insurance costs. * Reduces heavy truck traffic and spillage of liquid wastes on the City's streets.
Do I have to use the cart provided for the Automated Curbside Sanitation Service?
Yes. This is the way the City of Clewiston will be providing residential solid waste collection. It is more cost effective, safer, cleaner, and faster. It will establish higher standards of service without increasing your monthly bill.
What can I place in the cart for Automated Curbside Sanitation Service?
All the waste from your residence can go into the cart. Kitchen and bathroom garbage is to be bagged. Trash such as boxes, packing material, and small furniture items are to be broken down and placed in the cart. At no time is garbage to be placed for collection by the street unless it is in the cart. If the cart is full, hold the debris until your next scheduled pick up and then set out for collection. Large items like furniture and appliances will be picked up by another truck. Small amounts of construction debris may be placed in the cart. The lid must be closed completely.
What is a special pick up?
When the amount of waste or debris offered for collection falls outside the normal scope or the established standard for residential service, a special pick up is required. Construction debris and large piles (larger than a pickup truck or 4 cubic yards) of horticulture require a special pick up. Arrangements can be made by calling the Public Works office at 863-983-1471. There is a fee for this pick up.
Where do I put the cart for Automated Curbside Sanitation Service?
The cart must be kept on your property well away from the street. On the night before your scheduled pickup, roll the cart to the edge of the street and place on the side of your driveway with the wheels facing your house. After service has been completed, you should return the cart to your house no later than the end of the day of collection. Never place the cart within four feet of a mailbox, power pole, fire hydrant, parked vehicle, tree, or sign. The lid should be closed completely.
Can I place items on or beside the cart?
No. Only debris that fits into the cart with the lid closed completely can be offered for collection. Christmas is the only time additional bagged garbage, stacked neatly by the cart, will be allowed for collection at no additional charge - BUT only for a specified amount of time.
How often will my cart be picked up?
Garbage will continue to be picked up twice a week, Monday and Friday, except for Thanskgiving and Christmas Day. Special arrangements and schedules will be made to cover these times of increased need.
What if my cart is damaged or stolen?
If your assigned cart is damaged because of years of service or stolen, the City will replace or repair the cart at no cost to you. If the cart is damaged or destroyed by the resident, the cart's replacement cost will be added to the utility bill. The route supervisor will determine the action to be taken.
What items cannot be placed in the cart?
Batteries, pesticides, unused fertilizers, paint, pool chemicals, motor oil, yard clippings, dirt, rocks, medical supplies, or hazardous waste are never to be placed for collection in the cart. Landfill restrictions and/or the potential for damage to equipment or injury to yourself or the truck operator are great. The uncontrolled mixing of chemicals can create toxic gases or a flammable material that can ignite without warning. If you have questions about what to do with items removed from your waste, call the Public Works Department at 863-983-1471 for information and proper disposal answers.
What if my cart does not get dumped?
This system is designed to ensure collection if the cart is placed by the street by 6:00 a.m. on the scheduled pick up day. The cart may be placed at the curbside on the night before the scheduled pick up. The cart must be placed in the proper location allowing for safe equipment operation and accessibility. If the cart is not dumped because of the resident's error, service will be provided at the next regular scheduled pick up.
How can I get service if I am physically unable to roll the cart to the street?
The City of Clewiston understands some residents cannot handle the cart because of health reasons or physical limitations. If this is an issue, a written statement from your doctor will make you eligible for "indigent" service. This confidential information will be kept on file at the Public Works office. This service is available only to disabled customers at the recorded address and there is no one living at that address who is physically able to roll the cart to the street. The driver has a list of addresses for homes needing this special service which includes bringing the cart to the curb and returning it to the back yard after it is emptied. There will be a reasonable additional monthly charge to customers for this service.
What if one cart is not enough for my family?
The 95-gallon cart dumped twice per week will handle the average family of four. However, if one cart is insufficient to handle your disposal needs, you may purchase a second cart for a one-time charge plus pay an additional annual service fee thereafter.
What do I do with my yard debris and clippings?
Bagged grass and leaves are to be placed by the street for collection. Hedge clippings that cannot be bagged are to be placed by the street for collection. Branches are to be no longer than six feet in length and stacked in line with each other. Plastic pots from plants used for landscaping are garbage and should be disposed in the cart. Contractors are responsible for disposing of large tree trimmings and other debris. If left for the City to remove, the home owner will be charged a special pick up fee. If the homeowner cuts the tree, resulting in a pile larger than a pickup truck, a special pick up will be required. Old landscape plants offered for collection must have the soil knocked off of them before placing them at the street for collection. Other waste cannot be mixed with horticultural waste.
Where do I put the debris?
The debris is picked up by a large vehicle called a grab loader. Be sure to place the pile where it can be easily collected. Never place debris by poles, mailboxes, signs, hydrants, or trees. Also, debris piles are not allowed on top of inlets, manholes, valves of any kind, or water meters.
Do I need a license to perform work in my home?
No. A homeowner who owns and occupies a one- or two-family dwelling can do their own construction work as long as they can demonstrate they are knowledgeable of the code requirements. You may not use or hire unlicensed people to help you or to do the work for you.
How do I choose a contractor?
* Ask people you know for names of contractors they have used. * Once you have a list of contractors, ask for references. * Ask your contractor questions. * Verify your contractor has comprehensive insurance coverage. * Obtain written quotes with all the specifications from more than one contractor. It is advisable to get at least three contractors' bids. Remember-the lowest price is not always the best one. It could mean a misunderstanding of the project. * Develop a payment schedule and pay the contractor accordingly. * Pay only for the work that has been done. * Pay by check so that you have a record of your payments. * Pay the company contracted to do the work; not to cash or a person's name. * Sign a completion certificate only if the work is completed, you are satisfied, and the building inspector has approved the final inspection.
How do I get an electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permit?
Electrical, plumbing, and/or mechanical permits are issued in the name of the person performing the work. Only licensed contractors or owner/builder may obtain a permit. Working without a permit can result in fines but, more importantly, you lose the assurance the work you're paying for is built to code, a minimum standard for safety. Owner/builder permits are limited to the construction of one single-family residence or duplex of which the owner resides
What is a notice of commencement?
If your project exceeds $2,500, a Notice of Commencement must be filed by the homeowner or contractor. In accordance with Section 713.13(1)(h) of the Florida Statutes, a "Notice of Commencement" must be filed with the Clerk of the Court prior to commencement of construction of a project, and a certified copy or affidavit attesting to the recording of the Notice of Commencement must be posted at the job site. This notice contains detailed information about the project such as property owner, financial institution, job site address, contractor, etc., and protects the property owner's title to the property.
What is an inspection?
The building inspector will perform periodic inspections as required by the Standard Building Code. Your building permit will indicate the type of work that requires inspections and when to call for one. Failure to comply with the inspection requirements could result in a request to dismantle any work done beyond the inspection stage. In order to prevent inspection delays, install visible addresses on buildings. Call 863-983-1500 to schedule an inspection.
Why do I need a permit?
Not only is it the law, but building permits can also protect you. With a building permit, the inspector will make sure the work is performed in accordance with the Standard Building Code, zoning laws, and the approved plans. Working without a permit can result in fines, but more importantly, you lose the assurance the work you're paying for is built to code, a minimum standard for safety. This permit must be displayed at the job site.
Why do I need inspections?
Inspections are required at various stages of the project to see the work is following the approved plans and codes. There is no additional charge for the inspections; they have been paid for with the permit fees.
Why should I use a licensed contractor?
Any person performing construction services in the City who is not licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board is doing so illegally. In addition, the State Attorney General's Office has stated that a contract made with an unlicensed contractor is not enforceable under law. Another reason is the license provides some protection to the owner from being charged for work and materials not provided or paying twice for them. Avoid any contractor who requires large advance payments.
1. What is Clewiston Utilities doing to prepare for this Hurricane?
City staff members meet regularly to assess the situation and update our strategies and plans. Clewiston has a comprehensive plan for responding to a hurricane that assigns responsibilities to each employee. Of course, repair personnel will be making repairs to the system. However, some office workers will be out in the field supporting those repair crews. They also may serve as guides to out-of- town repair crews, using chain saws to remove debris from City facilities, or serving meals to restoration crews. When a hurricane threatens Clewiston, we begin notifying those utilities and companies with which we have mutual aid agreements and contracts so they will be ready should we need them. Clewiston has agreements and contracts with other electric utilities, food vending companies, fuel suppliers, and other vendors to assist and support the restoration effort.
2. What should residents be doing to prepare?
The standard recommendations are always prudent: * Get enough bottled water for several days (rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day) * Make sure you have a battery-powered radio and flashlights and plenty of batteries (NOT candles) * Board up windows (masking tape is not recommended). Secure lawn furniture, etc. Here are a few ideas you may not have thought of: * Capture water in your water heater by turning off power to the unit, and then close the water valves. This way if you lose water pressure, you will have about 40 gallons of fresh water stored in the tank. * Store additional water in your bathtub, and fill the washing machine with water too. This water supply can be used later for cleaning or to operate your toilet. * Make sure you have a can opener that doesn't need electricity. * Make sure you have a regular, corded phone. Cordless phones will not work when the power is off. Fully charge cell phones.
3. What should people who rely on electricity for medical equipment be doing?
Those who rely on electricity to operate necessary medical equipment should make arrangements now to ensure their safety in the event of a loss of power. People with "special needs" should contact the County Health Department at 863-983-1410 or call Yvonne at 863-612-4700. If you are unable to pick up a form, Yvonne can fax or email it to you. Whatever your problem, Yvonne can help you resolve it. Good Wheels will be providing transportation if needed.
4. What advice do you have for people who are thinking of buying a generator?
Clewiston Utilities recommends you do not use a generator unless you know how to use one safely. In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, some homeowners connected generators to the wiring inside their homes. Electricity from a generator flowed backward through the transformer causing the voltage to increase to thousands of volts and electrocuted unsuspecting line-repair personnel. If you do purchase a generator, use it outside your home in a well-ventilated area. Plug in the appliances you are going to use directly into the generator. DO NOT wire a generator into your home wiring system without an automatic transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician. If Clewiston Utilities finds a generator wired into a house without an automatic transfer switch, the service will be cut loose and that home will be one of the last ones restored with power. Fumes from a running generator can be deadly. Whatever you do, think about the purchase and have a good plan that includes safety.
5. Should people who evacuate do anything special to help minimize damage to the electric and plumbing systems in their homes?
If you plan to evacuate, turn off the circuit breakers for the water heater. Also, consider turning off power to your home at the main electrical panel and turning off water at the home's main service valve.
6. During the storm, does Clewiston Utilities plan to keep the power and water on or will you turn the power, water and sewer plants off at some point for safety?
Clewiston Utilities will not choose to turn off electric or water service to any customers. As weather conditions worsen, it is very likely that some customers will lose power. As long as safety permits, we will continue trying to keep power on for all customers by making repairs to the system as needed. However, once winds exceed 45 mph, it is no longer safe to use equipment like bucket trucks. At that point, Clewiston Utilities will order crews to shelter until the brunt of the storm passes. Crews will return to work as soon as they can safely do so. Clewiston Utility's water and sewer plants have back-up generators to help keep those services operating throughout a storm. However, severe system damage could occur causing service disruptions. Crews will make those repairs as quickly as possible.
7. What does CLEWISTON UTILITIES do immediately after a hurricane passes?
Clewiston Utilities line crews begin a field assessment of the damage. This effort could take a day, depending on the level of damage the system sustains. Customers should keep in mind that stopping the crews to ask questions will slow down this assessment and can also slow down the overall restoration effort. After the assessment is complete, Clewiston Utilities will have a better idea of how long it will take to restore service to customers. Also during this time, Clewiston Utilities will be communicating updates through local media outlets about outages, where crews are working, and the progress being made. If your power is on, Clewiston Utilities encourages YOU to keep your front porch/flood light on - day and night - which will help our assessment teams further focus their attention on homes and facilities where power needs to be restored.
8. What about damage on my property?
When the storm has safely cleared, we encourage you to assess your own damage, too. Once Clewiston Utilities crews have cleared away any electric lines, the homeowner is responsible for tree removal on the homeowner's property. Clewiston Utilities will clear from the lines only that section of a tree or limb that prevents a crew from repairing the wires. All clean up from a broken or fallen tree and/or limb is the responsibility of the property owner. Clewiston Utilities will not remove limbs or trees from wires that are NOT Clewiston Utility's, which includes phone and cable TV wires. Clewiston Utilities will NOT remove any limb or any part of a tree that is on a structure or building. Likewise, any damage to the weather head (the device where the electric line attaches to the home) must be repaired by a licensed electrician before Clewiston Utilities can safely reconnect your power.
9. What about trees that block my driveway or the roadway?
The City of Clewiston's Department of Public Works is responsible for removing trees, limbs and other debris from the roadways only. If your driveway is blocked, it is your responsibility to clear it. To report blocked roadways, contact the Public Works Department at 983-1471
10. How do you decide who gets power first?
Our restoration plan focuses on returning power to the facilities that deliver power to the largest number of affected customers first. First, we repair damage to the Clewiston Utilities lines that carry the main power from our substation, the Feeders. Then, we focus on restoring power to the customers who provide essential services to your community, such as the hospital, nursing home, police, and fire stations and shelters. Next, we repair damage that will return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time. Once major repairs have been made, we begin working to restore individuals and small groups of customers. But with the widespread damage and sheer volume of affected facilities, it takes essentially the same level of effort to fix the facility that provides power to thousands as it does to one that delivers power to only a few. So even though we have restored power to a very large percentage of those affected, it will take more time to get to those smaller groups of homes or businesses scattered throughout our service area. We then begin the very time- consuming process of going street by street and house by house to make the final repairs that will get everyone's power back on.
11. Does CLEWISTON UTILITIES restore power to one side of town before another?
No. Clewiston Utilities generally restores power in the sequence that will result in returning service to the greatest number of customers as soon as possible. The only customers that receive any special consideration are hospitals, public safety and other life support or life-sustaining institutions. Typically, these large customers are served by very large electric lines, which are the first lines to be repaired anyway.
12. If people lose power or water service, what should they do?
Each situation is unique. Stay tuned to your radio for instructions about whether or when to call. If the damage to the electric system is extensive, there may be no need for you to call in the first few days. If you have lost water service, but not power, turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater to prevent damage to the heating elements from overheating.
13. If there is widespread destruction of the electric system, how will CLEWISTON UTILITIES re-build the system quickly?
In the case of a major outage, it will take days and maybe even weeks before all power is restored. However, Clewiston Utilities has mutual aid agreements in place with other electric utilities around the state and country. These extra crews would provide assistance to help restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
14. During or after a hurricane, should I call CLEWISTON UTILITIES to tell the Utility I don't have power?
Not immediately. Clewiston Utilities will know the major circuits are out and begin repairing them first. Once the circuits are restored, CLEWISTON UTILITIES will ask you - through the local media - to begin calling in with your individual outage information.
15. If a Boil Water notice is issued, but power is out, how do people make sure their water is safe?
If you cannot boil water, use bleach to purify water for drinking. Use regular chlorine bleach without added fragrances. Follow the purification directions on the label. If none are given, use two drops of bleach per quart of water, or 8 drops per gallon of water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes. Also, Clorox says you can make a good sanitizing solution to wash and disinfect dishes, countertops, etc. by mixing one teaspoon of bleach in one gallon of water. Continue to use bottled or disinfected water for drinking and cooking until CLEWISTON Utility's water supply has been declared safe. Listen to local news sources for regular updates.
16. What does CLEWISTON UTILITIES tell people about downed electric lines?
Please call 911 immediately to report a downed electric line. STAY AWAY from all downed power lines because they may be energized. If you get close enough to an energized power line you can be electrocuted - even without actually touching the wire.
17. Is food left in refrigerators safe to eat after the power has been out?
According to the Red Cross, food can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days without electricity, and even longer in the freezer. However, they also recommend using the food in the refrigerator first as the frozen food will be safe longer. Freezing and storing water in clean containers to leave in the refrigerator before the storm hits can also help your food stay cool. It's best to have plenty of non-perishable food on hand to get you through post-hurricane recovery. Of course, don't open the refrigerator/freezer door any more than necessary.
18. For people whose homes were flooded, is there anything they should do before turning their power back on at their breaker box?
Yes. Consult a private electrician to determine if it is safe to restore power to your home. If rising water approached your home, but just missed coming inside, you may need to have an air conditioning contractor check your heating and cooling system. The outdoor unit of the air conditioner typically sits on the ground, lower than the home, so rising water may have gotten into the electrical connections and wiring of the compressor unit control panel.
19. People have called local news stations complaining that their neighbor (next door? next street?) got power back on before they did. Why is that happening? Why am I the only one in my neighborhood without lights?
It could be that you and your neighbor do not share the same power line (more specifically, the same circuit). The power line feeding electricity to your home may be damaged, while the one to your neighbor's house is not. It also could be that your individual connection requires repair. It may also be possible that your home needs internal electrical repairs before you can receive service. Again, Clewiston Utilities will work to restore power to the largest number of customers first, moving to individual locations once power has been restored to major concentrations of customers.
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