The mayor and city council may by ordinance confer upon the board of public works the active direction and supervision of the city's system of waterworks, power plant, or sewerage, heating, or lighting plant and the erection and construction of such system or plant. The board may provide that such duties be performed by such employee or employees as it may direct. The city council shall approve the budget of each proprietary function as provided in the Municipal Proprietary Function Act. The board shall make reports to the mayor and city council as often as the mayor and city council may require. In like manner the mayor and city council may confer upon such board the active direction and supervision of the system of streets and alleys.
The mayor and city council may, by ordinance, authorize and empower the board of public works to employ necessary laborers and clerks, to purchase material for the operation and maintenance of the systems, and to draw its orders on the several funds in the hands of the city treasurer to the credit of the various systems in payment of salaries, labor, and material. The mayor and city council shall establish the dollar amount for all extensions and projects above which the board of public works must obtain the approval of the mayor and city council before expending funds. The mayor and city council may, by ordinance, authorize and empower the board of public works to cooperate and participate in a plan of insurance designed and intended for the benefit of the employees of any public utility operated by the city. For that purpose the board of public works may make contributions to pay premiums or dues under such plan, authorize deductions from salaries of employees, and take such other steps as may be necessary to effectuate such plan of insurance. All orders for the disbursement of funds shall be signed by the chairperson and secretary of the board or by any two members of the board who have previously been designated for that purpose by a resolution duly adopted by such board and shall be paid by the city treasurer, except that payroll checks only may be signed by any one member of the board who has previously been designated for that purpose by a resolution duly adopted by the board. Facsimile signatures of board members may be used to sign such orders and checks.