Interim director Domine takes on official role
Posted on 02/10/2022
Mike Domine at City Yards.Mike Domine was named the city’s director of Public Works on Feb. 7 after serving as interim director since July 2021 when his predecessor, Loyd Cureton, retired. He takes on the new role as the city undergoes major infrastructure changes. While roads and water mains have been replaced at a fast clip (made possible by bond funds for the roads), there’s an annual cycle for repair and replacement of roads, water mains, sanitary sewer lines and sidewalks.

Domine has expertise in water management. One of his proudest accomplishments is managing the water flow rates so the city isn’t changed a penalty for spikes in usage during hot summer months by Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).

“Over the past six months, Mike has demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of our infrastructure (particularly our water system) and has established that he can lead the DPW,” said City Manager Pat Sullivan. “I look forward to working with him, department heads and council as we continue to rebuild our street, water and sewer systems and prepare for new development.”

A graduate of South Lyon High School, Domine holds an S2 Michigan Drinking Water Operator license, and PACP certification for sewer inspection. He also earned a certificate in 2018 from the Michigan Public Service Institute.

Domine began his career as a crew leader in the Water and Sewer Division of the Bloomfield Twp. Public Works Dept. The township wanted employees to know about every aspect of the department so he was cross-trained in plowing, grounds maintenance, and road and storm sewer repair and replacement. He learned a lot from the older generation of crew members both in Bloomfield Twp. and now, in Northville. He has supplemented that knowledge by keeping up with technological advances and applying them to DPW projects.

Domine leads a team of seven. He and his crew have vastly enhanced the city’s GIS system - adding new information to document where every water main, sewer line, light pole, and tree is located. Most of the input can be done in the field from a cell phone or tablet. This repository of information helps with management and maintenance of the city’s assets and infrastructure.

Another advance that he helped implemented was a paperless work-order system, which enables the clerical staff to take calls and submit work orders directly to Domine and DPW staff. It saves time and records the start and completion of routine jobs.

When he arrived in Northville, he learned a new role: cemetery management. Domine and several crew members have taken on the work of a sexton. On a macro level, he plots graves and ensures that gravesites are added to the GIS resource/computer database; on a micro level, he and his team help families with burial requests.

There’s plenty of work ahead. Development of the Foundry Flask apartments/commercial building and Downs planned unit development (PUD) project will involve a coordinated effort by the city (including DPW), contractors and developers to remediate the brownfield sections and build new infrastructure.

Some of the city’s infrastructure is more than 100 years old. The department has a short-term and long-term plan to replace old cast iron water lines with new ductal iron or HDPE (plastic), which can flex when the ground shifts and during the state’s severe freeze-thaw cycles. Water main breaks, which have occurred a lot in the last few years, typically are on older and undersized water mains.

In his free time, Domine enjoys being with his wife, Lindsey, three young children, and four dogs. As a family, they like to watch and play sports (especially hockey) and explore Michigan in their travel trailer. They are looking forward to an upcoming trip to the Florida Keys to get away from Michigan’s deep freeze.