Public Works Office

FAQ's

  • Who do I contact to fix a pothole or road maintenance problem?

    Visit Report a Problem page for contact information.

  • Does Polk County apply dust control in front of residences?

    No, the home owner is responsible for contracting a local contractor to apply dust control materials. The Public Works Department does perform the required road preparation at no cost. The home owner should request their contractor contact this office before applying the dust control material. Please be aware that motor oil is not permitted as a dust control agent.

  • Do I need to get a permit to put in a driveway or modify my existing one?

    Yes, please stop by the Public Works Office to complete a permit application during our normal business hours.

  • Do I need a permit to do any landscaping in the road ditch in front of my residence?

    Yes, a permit must be granted for any type of work in the road right-of-way. Items such as trees, landscape walls, or any large obstructions are prohibited from the road right-of-way to protect errant drivers. Please stop by the Public Works Office to complete a permit application during our normal business hours.

  • Who should I report non-working streetlights or traffic signal lights to?

    If the streetlight or traffic signal is in rural Polk County contact the Polk County Public Works Department. This does not include any streetlights within the city limits or along interstate highways. If along an interstate highway, call the Iowa DOT, 515-225-2349. Contact the City for locations within the City limits.

  • My neighbor doesn't mow his weeds. Can I contact someone?

    To be a viable complaint, weeds should be longer than 12 inches. Please contact the Polk County Weed Commission at 515-286-3005.

  • Who do I contact about questions regarding building regulations for building improvements in the unincorporated area of Polk County?

    Please contact the Polk County Building Inspection staff at 515-286-3705. The Building Division is located at 5885 N.E. 14th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50313. Since building inspectors are often out in the County conducting building inspections during the day, it is best to contact the building inspectors by phone before 9 A.M and/or call and make arrangements to meet with them by calling 515-286-3352 or 515-323-5304.

  • When building an accessory structure, how do I know when footings are required?

    No footings are required for one-story residential detached accessory structures 720 sq. ft. and less in size. Contact Planning & Development at 515-286-3705 for more information.

  • How do I know when a building permit is needed?

    Contact the Polk County Building Inspection Division at 515-286-3352 or 515-323-5304 for assistance.

  • How do I apply for a septic permit?

    Submit an application for a permit and a percolation test and /or soils analysis done by a professional engineer to the Environmental Health office. After a site evaluation is conducted a permit should be issued. You can get an application and a list of registered professional engineers by calling 515-286-3376. Contact 515-286-2267 for more information.

  • Can the County’s Planning Department assist with planning or zoning information for properties located within a city?

    No. The Polk County Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan apply only to properties located outside of cities. Persons with questions about properties located within an incorporated boundary of a city should contact the city’s planning department. Contact Polk County Planning & Development at 515-286-3705 for more information.

  • Who do I contact about questions regarding zoning regulations for building a residence and/or a garage in the unincorporated area of Polk County?

    Please contact the Planning and Development staff at 515-286-3705 . The office is located at 5885 N.E. 14th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50313.

Contact Us

Director: Robert Rice

5885 NE 14 Street
Des Moines, IA 50313
Phone: 515.286.3705
FAX 515.286.3437
Email Public Works