Vail Valley Voices: Public Works is vital
Maintaining roads, hosting an award-winning rodeo and ensuring our community is ready for emergencies all fall under the scope of Eagle County Public Works. No matter how large or small the job, every service we provide falls under one overarching purpose: to develop and maintain the county’s physical infrastructure and assets and provide support services related to that infrastructure and assets. In other words, public works employees plan, build and maintain all of the county-owned roads, buildings and parks to ensure our community runs smoothly from the inside out, so residents are able to enjoy the benefits of living in a great community. Eagle County Public Works encompasses eight departments: Emergency Management, Engineering, Facilities Management, Fleet Services, Geographic Information Systems, Project Management, Road & Bridge and Solid Waste and Recycling. These departments work together to provide proficient, collaborative services to both county departments and citizens. Below is a brief description of each Public Works department’s essential services. Emergency Management is responsible for all-hazards incident management in Eagle County, including disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. This entails coordination with all emergency responders and public safety agencies in the county to ensure cooperation, interoperable communications and compatibility with state and federal programs.Engineering is responsible for site improvement standards and assists the Community Development Department in reviewing development and building applications. In addition, they manage the county’s flood-plain management program, traffic-management program, grading permits, public way permits, land survey plan repository and provide engineering and survey support to design projects. As the county liaison to CDOT, engineering assists in the State Highway Access permit program and provides support to their transportation projects. Facilities Maintenance manages, operates and maintains buildings, grounds and parks owned or leased by Eagle County, including significant efforts to ensure a great fair and rodeo. Fleet Services purchases and maintains the county’s vehicles and equipment.GIS (Geographical Information Systems) updates and manages the county’s geographical database and provides maps and documents for both internal and external customers.Road & Bridge maintains the county’s roads and bridges and related infrastructure in addition to organizing the annual Eagle County Fair & Rodeo, hosted the last week of July.Project Management leads the development of the county’s major capital-improvement projects. This department also procures outside consultant and contractor resources to achieve the county’s budget, schedule and quality goals. Solid Waste and Recycling manages the solid waste streams throughout the county in a responsible way. This service includes the solid waste landfill, a permanent household hazardous waste collection facility and the recently opened recycled materials recovery facility. During this week Eagle County is proud to celebrate National Public Works Week. We hope you, too, will join in recognizing the individuals who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services of our communities. From the snow plow drivers to sorters at the landfill’s new recycling facility, we thank all public works employees for their service to the people and community they serve. To learn more about Eagle County Public Works, visit http://www.eaglecounty.us. Tom Johnson is the Eagle County public works director.