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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit to add onto my house? If so, whom do I call?
All general remodeling, structural remodeling, construction additions to existing structures, or detached accessory structures require a building permit. Permits for electrical, plumbing and mechanical work may also be required, depending on the scope of work. A licensed contractor or the homeowner may obtain permits. The following are examples of work that would not require permits:

  • floor coverings (carpet, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, etc.);
  • roof replacement;
  • repair or replacing sheet rock;
  • paneling, soffit or fascia board (less than one side wall); or
  • accessory structure less than 100 square feet on skid.
Please contact 389-3226 at the Inspection Division or visit DPW Permit and Inspection division site to determine whether a permit is needed.

Who do I call about stop signs or traffic signals?
To report issues concerning street signs or signals (including stolen, damaged, non-reflective, or misspelled signs or to request new signs or signals), please call 3-1-1 Call Center, (225) 389-3090 or submit online at the Citizens Request for Service page. 3-1-1 Call Center will route the complaint to the Traffic Engineering Division of the Department of Public Works that is responsible for all traffic control devices.

Please note:
When new signs or traffic signals are requested, the Traffic Engineering Division will conduct a feasibility study that is usually concluded in 45-60 days.

Who do I call to report potholes?
Please call 3-1-1 to report the problem to the 3-1-1 Call Center, (225) 389-3090 or submit online at the Citizens Request for Service page. They will forward the concern to DPW's Street Maintenance Division that repairs potholes on local roadways. This division also repairs low shoulders and concrete panels.

Who should I call for sewer related concerns?
The Department of Public Works Wastewater Division (Wastewater Collection Systems and Wastewater Treatment) is responsible for all sewer activities including sewer cave-ins, stoppages and backups. Sewer stoppages are handled immediately.

The Department of Public Works’ staff or a private contractor repairs all sewer cave-ins. Based on the investigation of the complaint, prepares a report and then schedules the job for repair by either in-house staff or a private contractor. They may be reached at (225) 389-4858.

Citizens with sewer related issues can contact the Public Works Wastewater Collection Office at (225) 389-4858 Monday through Friday (8 a.m.–3 p.m.) or submit a request online 24 hours a day at the Citizens Request for Service. Citizens with sewer related issues that occur after hours will need to contact the Public Works Dispatcher at (225) 389-2070. The working hours for the Public Works Dispatcher are 3 p.m.–11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m.–11 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Who do I call about a parade permit or a street closure?
The Department of Public Works Traffic Engineering Division is responsible for parades, block parties and street closures. Appropriate forms for such requests are available at the Traffic Engineering Division. Each request is reviewed to minimize the impact to the motoring public who may be inconvenienced due to the request. Approval is also needed from Police, Fire and EMS for safety reasons. On some occasions approval is required from the Metropolitan Council, if alcohol is sold on the street right-of-ways. You should contact the Traffic Engineering Division for these types of requests at (225) 389-3246.

Who is responsible for enforcing building codes and how do I report a house that is below code?
The Building Inspection Division is responsible for enforcing building and zoning codes. This is generally done through the permit process, either during the plan review stage or the field inspection phases.

If you would like to report a house that is below code, please call the 3-1-1 Call Center, (225) 389-3090 or submit online a Citizens Request for Service. They will report the concern to the Complaint Section which handles complaints regarding potential building and zoning violations. This section investigates each complaint to determine its validity. If there is a legitimate code violation, the property owner is notified to have the violation resolved. If the violation still exists, action is taken through the Parish Attorney's Office and the individual is brought to court to allow a judge to determine a means of resolution.

Who do I call about a sinkhole or cave-in?
To report sinkholes or cave-ins, please call the 3-1-1 Call Center, (225) 389-3090 or submit online a Citizens Request for Service. They will forward the concern to DPW's Bridge and Canal Division that handles the cleaning of roadside ditches, drainage canals in public servitudes and rights of way.

Please note: These jobs are scheduled on a priority basis depending on the severity of the complaint. Repairs and storm drain cleanings are scheduled based on possible liability concerns. Sinkholes and cave-ins in the street and front yard are normally a high priority.

The sewer pump station near my residence is causing an odor. Who do I call?
Complaints dealing with sewer odors and pump station sites are the responsibility of the Wastewater Treatment Division and that telephone number is (225) 389-2070 during normal working hours. If the problem occurs after hours, weekends or holidays then the dispatcher needs to be contacted and she will contact the appropriate person to handle this problem.


How do I get involved in recycling?
Crews pick up recycling every week. Participants in the curbside program receive a cart from the Recycling Foundaton. Call the Recycling Foundaton at (225) 925-3442, to receive a recycling cart and information on how to recycle call the Recycling Office at (225) 389-5194.