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    The City of Grand Rapids Engineering Department coordinates the extension of City-owned public utilities for the purposes of serving private development. Within the City of Grand Rapids, this includes sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer. Other City departments including Traffic Safety (for street lighting and traffic signals) may also have involvement. Outside the City limits, this would typically include only sanitary sewer and water main. When only new service connections to City utilities are involved, all related issues are coordinated through the City Development Center at 1120 Monroe Avenue NW, (616) 456-4100.

    The following list outlines the process by which private development projects (involving the extension or relocation of Grand Rapids utilitities) are handled through the City of Grand Rapids Engineer's Office:

    Preliminary Utility Plan (PUP)
    A Preliminary Utility Plan is typically submitted to the Engineer's Office by an engineering consultant on behalf of a developer. The PUP is a basic, color line drawing illustrating the layout of the proposed public utilities. Existing and proposed City utlities should be clearly identified as to approximate location and pipe size. The plan is reviewed and approved by the related City departments.  The project is also reviewed for any applicable front foot charges due related to the connection to existing City sanitary sewer and water main. All applicable charges must be paid prior to City Commission approval of the project.

    Utility Design (Check-print)
    Once the PUP is approved, the engineering consultant must submit a set of engineering drawings detailing the design of all proposed City-owned utilities. The initial submittal of the drawing set is considered the "Check-print" version.  The drawings sheet size, title block, border, symbology (blocks), line types, text and standard notes must be in accordance with the current Grand Rapids CAD Standards. The drawings are to be provided in hard-copy (3 copies) and in electronic format (on CD or via email). The electronic files submitted must meet the following requirements:

    • TIFF, group 4 format
    • 300 DPI
    • Printed/plotted copy must scale at 100%
    • One sheet per file
    • The files should be named Sheet01.tif, Sheet02.tif, etc. (Sheet01.tif being the title sheet)
    • Images must be created using 1 bit "color" depth (B&W), no color or grayscale
    • Images should not be rotated

              Instructions on creating tif files from AutoCAD dwg files

    The check-prints are distributed to various City departments, as applicable, for review and approval. All red-lined drawings are collected by City staff and returned to the consultant for revisions as noted.

    Project Documentation 
    Along with the utility design drawing set, the consultant is required to submit applicable documents, typically including the following:

    • Construction Agreement (outside GR) or Construction Letter Agreement (within GR) (4 original copies)
    • Letter of Credit (or Performance Bond or Escrow Agreement) (1 original copy)
    • Public Utilities Easement Agreement (including closure statement, if applicable) (1 original copy)
    • Certificate of Liability Insurance (1 copy)
    • Proof of Property Ownership (1 copy)
    • Check or Escrow submittal to City or township of project location (for Grand Rapids Engineering Services)
    • MDEQ Permit Applications, including cover letters
    • Original sealed and signed utility drawings on bond to be included with MDEQ permit applications (3 sets of sanitary sewer and water main approved drawings)
    • Front foot charge payment (check or City 10-pay plan), if applicable
    • Maintenance Bond (due after utility construction completion/acceptance) (1 copy)
    • Other agreements as needed, including payback agreement (water main or sanitary sewer), oversizing agreement (water main or sanitary sewer), sidewalk easement, drainage agreement (GR only), LUDS permit (GR only)

    Please contact the Engineer's Office for examples and templates of the forms used.

    Submittal of "Project Package" 
    The "Project Package" is comprised of the revised utility design drawing set and the first submittal of all required project documentation (one full-size drawing set, 22"x34" on bond and an electronic copy of drawings and documents). The package must be submitted to the Engineer's Office (attn: Rick DeVries). Note that these items are not considered approved at this point.  The drawings and documents will be reviewed and typically require additional changes before final approval is given.  Please note that all legal documents (including all agreements) must be formatted for letter-size paper (8 1/2" x 11").

    City Commission Approval 
    The project is scheduled on the City Commission agenda to seek majority approval by the Commission.  All required documentation (except drawing set) must be reviewed, corrected and approved by the City Engineer's Office, prior to going before the City Commission (includes payment of any required front foot charges). The drawing set will be signed by the City Engineer following Commission approval and final approval from the Engineer's Office.  MDEQ Permit Applications, along with design drawing sets are delivered to the MDEQ offices in the State Building as soon as possible in order to expedite the permit approval process. Three bond copies (signed and sealed) of the title sheet and specific utility sheets must be submitted for each type of permit application.

    For additional information regarding procedures for approval of private development projects through the City Commission, contact Jack Stegehuis at  You may contact the City Engineer's Office by phone at (616) 456-3060.