How to Write a Letter to Have Neighborhood Streets Resurfaced

The city council may not be aware of the problem on your street.
The city council may not be aware of the problem on your street. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The street outside your business or home has ruts or potholes, and everyone who comes to see you complains about it. You have waited for weeks for a city crew to fix it, and you are beginning to doubt that your street is on the city's agenda. You do not need to feel helpless; you can write to the city council to explain the problem and suggest that something be done to fix your street before vehicles that use it become damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital camera
  • Computer
  • Printer paper
  • Envelope
  • Postage to mail the letter and pictures

Type your address and skip to the next line. Type the date, and skip another line. Type the name of the head of the city council, the official title of the council (such as City Council of Lampassas, Texas) and the council's street address. Skip another line space and type "Dear Mr./Ms. (last name of city council leader) and City Council members" followed by a colon.

Introduce yourself and explain the problem briefly. For example: "My name is Julia Williams and I am the owner of Julia's Hardware at 123 Mission St. between Cranberry and Presidio streets. Since February, the part of Mission Street in front of my business has developed ruts and potholes."

Explain how the problem is affecting residents and businesses on your street. You can take photographs of the damage and include them in your letter. Explain how customers have been complaining or that the poor condition of the street is slowing traffic in the area and causing traffic tie-ups. The City Council will want to know the magnitude of the problem so the street can be placed in the appropriate spot on the repair list.

Ask that the city repair the damaged street at the street department's earliest convenience. Provide your telephone number and e-mail address in case a council member wants to discuss your complaint with you. Thank the council for its time.

Close the letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three line spaces. Type your full name. Print the letter and sign your name above your typed name.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a polite but firm tone throughout the letter. You may be very upset that the damage has yet to be fixed, but keep in mind that the City Council may not be aware of the extent of the damage. An irate tone or abusive language may backfire, causing the council to disregard your letter.

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