The Public Works Department is responsible for planning, designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining the county’s infrastructure: public roads, transportation systems, bridges, water, wastewater, drainage, and solid waste disposal systems. The department is administered by the Director of Public Works, who is appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and is assisted by necessary administrative and support staff.
The types of activities and level of involvement by the Public Works Department may vary from county to county. However, the specific work engaged in by this department may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Maintaining the county’s network of underground facilities (sewer and domestic water) and storm drainage pipeline, roadways, bridges, and other minor structures.
- Developing and delivering a countywide coordinated transportation program which includes bus and passenger rail services.
- Administering, operating, and maintaining special districts that provide water, sanitary sewer, storm drainage, and street lighting services.
- Administering and maintaining flood control district zones consisting of project levees and channels.
- Maintaining equipment for other county departments.
In addition, the Public Works Department may administer and operate a solid waste management program which includes collections, licensing, and planning. The county surveyor’s office, responsible for processing all official maps, is often housed within the Public Works Department. Furthermore, the departments also acquire and dispose of real property related to the construction of county public works improvement, review private development projects, and prepare master plans for future construction.