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Public Works Department

Public Works Department


The Public Works Department is dedicated to maintaining and improving the quality of life in Boulder by planning for future needs, promoting environmental quality, building and maintaining municipal infrastructure, managing public investments and protecting health and safety.


The divisions within Public Works are:

  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Utilities
  • Support Services
  • Development Services (this division is now under the Planning & Development Services Department)
  • 2020 Budget: $157,763,601
  • 2020 Operating Budget: $83,517,296
  • 2020 Capital Improvements: $58,866,356
  • 2020 Debt Service: $15,379,949
  • 2020 Number of Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Employees: 352.87


Development Services Division

  • Building Services establishes minimum requirements to safeguard public health, safety, general welfare and the environment through the effective application of city building codes, which determine standards for how buildings may be built, modified, occupied and maintained. Plan review and inspection services include verification of code compliance for structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and energy conservation components of buildings. Building Services coordinates with other city divisions to develop code amendments to meet Boulder’s Climate Commitment goals and collaborates with customers to gather feedback and ensure construction codes and regulations are well understood.
  • Code Enforcement is responsible for enforcing city regulations involving land use, building code and residential rental property maintenance. Standards for service include the prompt response to code violations, effective and timely notification and communication with residents, business owners, property owners and property managers to increase awareness and voluntary compliance.
  • Engineering Review is responsible for the review, permitting, and inspection of work by private parties within or impacting public rights-of-way and public easements. This responsibility involves city-maintained infrastructure including domestic water, wastewater, stormwater, transportation and improvements maintained by private service providers for electric, telecommunications and natural gas. The workgroup is also responsible for administration of floodplain and wetland protection ordinances for both public and private projects.
  • Information Resources provides services to leverage technology and support business functions in the Public Works and Planning Departments. This includes the administration and management of land management, permitting, licensing, asset management and geographic information systems (GIS) in addition to records, research and reporting services
  • 2020 Budget: $9,408,649
  • 2020 Number of FTE Employees: 67.49

Support Services Division

  • Support Services includes billing services, project coordination, financial and administrative support and the department safety program. The organizational management of these services is provided under the Support Services division, and the corresponding appropriations are distributed across all Public Works divisions.
  • Facilities and Asset Management (FAM) provides new construction, major maintenance, renovation and replacement and operations and maintenance services in accordance with industry standards for the city-owned buildings and structures it maintains. FAM manages the Capital Development, Facility Renovation and Replacement and Equipment Replacement funds. FAM manages Energy Performance Contracts, and along with Fleet Services, collaborates citywide to implement Boulder’s Climate Commitment. FAM is also involved with environmental remediation projects.
  • Fleet Services maintains all vehicles and equipment in the city’s fleet in accordance with industry standards. Fleet Services also manages the Fleet Replacement Fund by actively working with internal customers to replace vehicles with those that are alternatively fueled and provide a variety of fuel types for the city’s fleet. 
  • Radio Services provides corrective maintenance on all mobile and stationary communications equipment, and in coordination with FAM, is building out the infrastructure for the new city-owned and operated radio communication system.
  • 2020 Budget: $26,583,900
  • 2020 Operating Budget: $10,013,616
  • 2020 Capital Improvements: $15,574,323
  • 2020 Debt Service: $995,961
  • 2020 Number of FTE Employees: 34.42

Transportation Division

  • Planning and Operations ensures a safe and efficient multi-modal transportation system. This includes the planning, program and policy work of GO Boulder to design and encourage the use of a multimodal system and the operations work of determining appropriate infrastructure and traffic control and operating and maintaining traffic control. The work group also oversees the city’s progress towards meeting the goals of the Transportation Master Plan.
  • Project Management is responsible for managing the implementation of the transportation capital improvement program projects including the planning, design, permitting, construction and public outreach of CIP projects. In addition, the group manages major capital maintenance improvements to the roadway, bikeway and pedestrian system.
  • Transportation Maintenance includes the maintenance, operations and repairs to city streets, bike paths, medians, underpasses and contracted maintenance for state highways. This work group also responds to emergencies and maintains mobility through weather-related events.
  • The Airport consists of airport operations, repair and renovation of associated city buildings, grounds maintenance, pavement upkeep and repairs, fueling system maintenance, snow removal, planning and management of all capital improvement plan (CIP) projects and natural resource management.
  • 2020 Budget: $43,858,410
  • 2020 Operating Budget: $22,238,637
  • 2020 Capital Improvements: $21,619,773
  • 2020 Debt Service: $0
  • 2020 Number of FTE Employees: 81.72

Utilities Division

  • The Planning and Project Management group provides strategic planning, permitting, public engagement, engineering, construction and asset management for the water, wastewater and stormwater/flood management utilities.
  • Utilities Maintenance operates, maintains, and provides emergency response for the water distribution, wastewater collection, flood control facilities and storm water collection systems of the city. This workgroup also performs all water meter reading, maintenance and repair.
  • The Water Resources group manages the city’s municipal raw water supplies and hydroelectric facilities. This group manages the diversion, storage and delivery of raw water and completes water rights accounting. This workgroup also manages the leasing of raw water supplies to agricultural users, protects the City’s water rights in water court proceedings, acts as a liaison with ditch companies, and manages the instream flow program for Boulder Creek.
  • Water Treatment operates the two water treatment plants responsible for providing the Boulder community with potable water for public health and fire response. This unit is responsible for compliance with federal and state regulations and with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Water Resources Recover group is responsible for protection of environmental quality and public health through safe and efficient operation and maintenance of the water resources recovery facility (WWRF). Operations are managed following federal and state regulations including the Clean Water Act.
  • Water Quality and Environmental Services serves as a technical resource and provides regulatory support for the Utilities Division and other city departments. Services include implementation of, and support for, regulatory permits, monitoring to meet regulations, evaluating performance of wastewater treatment and drinking water treatment processes, and implementation of programs to protect the health of natural systems. The group also provides project management services in support of integrating water quality enhancement and regulatory compliance into the city’s Capital Improvement Program.


  • 2020 Budget: $77,912,642
  • 2020 Operating Budget: $34,342,813
  • 2020 Capital Improvements: $29,185,841
  • 2019 Debt Service: $14,383,988
  • 2019 Number of FTE Employees: 169.24