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FAQ's

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

You can call our office during normal business hours at (515) 286-3705 or submit the problem via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.  Please include the exact location of the pothole or maintenance problem, a brief description of the problem and your contact information if you want to be contacted to meet with the inspector. 

You can call our office during normal business hours at (515) 286-3705 or submit the problem via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.  Please include the exact location of the pothole or maintenance problem, a brief description of the problem and your contact information if you want to be contacted to meet with the inspector. 


Does Polk County apply dust control in front of residences?

No, the homeowner 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 homeowner 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.

 

No, the homeowner 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 homeowner 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, if you go to our Forms page, you will find a fillable Entrance Permit Application that can be completed and submitted via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov, or mailed to our office.  The application will be processed once the application fee is received. 

Yes, if you go to our Forms page, you will find a fillable Entrance Permit Application that can be completed and submitted via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov, or mailed to our office.  The application will be processed once the application fee is received. 


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.  If you go to our Forms page, you will find a fillable Right-of-way Improvement Permit Application that can be completed and submitted via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.  The application will be processed once the application fee is received. 

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.  If you go to our Forms page, you will find a fillable Right-of-way Improvement Permit Application that can be completed and submitted via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.  The application will be processed once the application fee is received. 


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

If the intersection light or traffic signal is outside the City limits, contact us during normal business hours at (515) 286-3705 or submit the problem via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.  Please include the exact location of the light or signal, a brief description of the problem and your contact information if you wish to be contacted.  Polk County does not maintain streetlights within the City limits or along interstate highways.  If the issue is along an interstate highway, call the Iowa DOT at (515) 225-2349.  For issues within the City limits, you will need to contact the appropriate City department.

If the intersection light or traffic signal is outside the City limits, contact us during normal business hours at (515) 286-3705 or submit the problem via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.  Please include the exact location of the light or signal, a brief description of the problem and your contact information if you wish to be contacted.  Polk County does not maintain streetlights within the City limits or along interstate highways.  If the issue is along an interstate highway, call the Iowa DOT at (515) 225-2349.  For issues within the City limits, you will need to contact the appropriate City department.


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.

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 inspections during the day, it is best to contact them by phone before 9:00 a.m.  To schedule an appointment time to meet with the building inspectors, please call (515) 286-3352.

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 inspections during the day, it is best to contact them by phone before 9:00 a.m.  To schedule an appointment time to meet with the building inspectors, please call (515) 286-3352.


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 the Planning & Development division at (515) 286-3705 for more information.

No, footings are required for one-story residential detached accessory structures 720 sq. ft. and less in size. Contact the Planning & Development division 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) 286-3705 for assistance.

Contact the Polk County Building Inspection Division at (515) 286-3352 or (515) 286-3705 for assistance.


How do I apply for a septic permit?

Submit an application for a permit and a percolation test and/or soils analysis (must be performed by a professional engineer) to the Environmental Health office.  After a site evaluation is conducted a permit should be issued. Please contact our office at (515) 286-3705 for an application and a list of registered professional engineers.

Submit an application for a permit and a percolation test and/or soils analysis (must be performed by a professional engineer) to the Environmental Health office.  After a site evaluation is conducted a permit should be issued. Please contact our office at (515) 286-3705 for an application and a list of registered professional engineers.


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.  Please contact Polk County Planning & Development at (515) 286-3705 for more information.

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.  Please 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.


My mailbox was damaged during snow removal - who do I contact?

Polk County will repair mailboxes damaged during our snow removal operations.  Mailboxes damaged beyond repair will be replaced with a standard black mailbox of comparable size.  Broken posts will be replaced with our standard wood post.  You can call our office during normal business hours at (515) 286-3705 or submit the problem via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.   Please indicate if the box or post were damaged. 

Polk County will repair mailboxes damaged during our snow removal operations.  Mailboxes damaged beyond repair will be replaced with a standard black mailbox of comparable size.  Broken posts will be replaced with our standard wood post.  You can call our office during normal business hours at (515) 286-3705 or submit the problem via email to publicworks@polkcountyiowa.gov.   Please indicate if the box or post were damaged.