In 2012, Boulder City embarked on a strategic planning process to develop a plan which would provide a forward thinking guidance strategy for the City. The process involved considerable input from the residents, businesses, and City staff. The City Council adopted Envision 2020 in November of 2012.
As one of the city's largest departments and the department responsible for all of the city's construction projects, Public Works plays a significant role in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan 2020 specifically identifies the Public Works Department as the lead on a variety of goals. Visit our Strategic Plan page for more information about the specific goals.
How does Public Works accomplish these goals? The following is a brief description of the Public Works approach for each of the goals:
Goal 3 Infrastructure: Public Works Will Develop & Implement a Comprehensive Asset Management Plan for Our Utilities, Streets, Sidewalks, & Flood Control Facilities
Public Works in Action: The first step in developing a good asset management plan is the development of a database of the assets. The city has never had such a database, nor does the city have the resources on staff to create one. To address this gap, in 2013 Public Works hired a consultant to research our existing maps and conduct extensive field work to develop a database of the entire electrical infrastructure. In addition, the priority of our part time GIS Technician is to improve the Water and Sewer database to make it a reliable tool for engineering and maintenance work. With the help of the Information Technology Division, a spatial database was created to match the spreadsheet database of all city maintained roadways. These are significant accomplishments for 2013.
However, a substantial amount of work remains. All city buildings and important features, such as air conditioners, roofing material, door hardware, etc. need to be catalogued and mapped. Both flood control and sidewalk databases need a significant amount of work. A future goal is to map all park facilities. These databases will enable proper asset management, through which Public Works will successfully make a complete transition from a reactionary style of maintenance to a more proactive approach. We have made great strides in this direction over the past 8 years, but there is a lot of work ahead of us.
Goal 6 Capital Improvement Plan: Public Works Will Develop & Implement a Long-term Capital Improvement Plan for All City Facilities & Fleet
This Goal is closely tied to Goal 3 above. For the past 3 years, the Engineering Division of Public Works has developed a 5-year capital improvement plan (CIP) for inclusion in the 1-year budget. The development of a good spatial database of all City facilities will help create a better long-term CIP. In November of 2012, the Public Works Department presented each of the projects in the 5-year CIP to the City Council. One glaring take away from the presentation was that the needs and wants of the City far outweigh the revenue stream. A future goal is to work closely with the Finance Department and the City Manager to develop a realistic and fiscally constrained CIP.
Public Works is a very active member of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the Clark County Flood Control District. These 2 agencies are the primary funding sources for roadway and flood control construction and maintenance in Boulder City. Through the partnerships Public Works has developed, regular funding agreements are presented to City Council to ensure actualization of Goal 6 of the Strategic Plan.
In 2007, Public Works developed a fleet replacement plan modelled after those of other communities throughout the nation. This plan has subsequently been updated as appropriate. Each November, the Public Works Department works in cooperation with other City departments to update the City's fleet database. This combined effort allows the City Manager and Finance Director to make replacement recommendations in the upcoming budget based upon a planned approach. An important part of this process is the timely disposal of decommissioned fleet and equipment. In 2013, Public Works received over $45,000 in auction proceeds from decommissioned equipment.
Goal 7 Sustainability: Public Works Will Develop a Plan That Will Reduce the Consumption of Natural Resources, Improve Air Quality, & Increase Recycling
Air conditioning systems are the highest consuming devices of electricity consumption in Boulder City. This is true for most communities in the southwest. In 2006, Public Works implemented a program of proactive maintenance and replacement of air conditioning units throughout the City's maintained buildings. This program has greatly reduced the length of air conditioning outages and power consumption. There is a lot of work left to be done, as there are still many inefficient air conditioning units throughout city buildings. As funding is available through the budget process, these systems will be replaced with more efficient units. Additionally, it is a goal of the Public Works Department to tie all thermostats into a centralized control system which will create the ability to remotely monitor and control settings. This would allow Public Works to greatly reduce power consumption during periods of time when the public and city staff are not occupying facilities. In addition to a city facility focused approach, Public Works continues to promote rebate programs to encourage citizens to conserve power. While air conditioning systems are a key focus area, there are many opportunities to reduce consumption of natural resources and Public Works focuses on sustainability in all of our efforts.
In March of 2013, Public Works presented an agreement to City Council which, through the federal government, would fund 100% electric vehicles. These vehicles will have no tailpipes and consume no gas. This will be the first time ever that the city will own and operate electric vehicles. As a result, air quality will be improved and consumption of fuel will be reduced. As technology for electric vehicles improves, hopefully, the use of electric vehicles will become a trend for the city.
The Public Works Department is the lead department for recycling and municipal solid waste collection and disposal. Recently, based upon a presentation by Public Works in 2009, the city implemented a program to deliver uniform, convenient recycling containers to all customer classes in Boulder City. In 2012, a significant outreach campaign was conducted to increase awareness of the importance of recycling. In addition, Public Works replaced trash cans along the primary business corridor with combination trash and recycling containers. As a result of Public Works' efforts, the participation in recycling in Boulder City has significantly increased. With the physical improvements now in place, Public Works continues to work with the contractor to promote the public outreach efforts required in the agreement.
Goal 8 Mobility Plan: Public Works Will Develop & Implement a Mobility Plan That Addresses Ways to Maintain & Enhance Multimodal Transportation Opportunities
In the past 8 years, Public Works has made substantial improvements to support alternate modes of transportation throughout Boulder City. Some examples include: the addition of bike lanes on both sides and a sidewalk on one side of Nevada Way from Avenue I to US 93, the inclusion of bike lanes to the Wyoming and Utah Street reconstructions, and widening and moving sidewalks away from the curb with the addition of bike lanes in concurrence with the Nevada Way business corridor reconstruction project in 2012. In addition to making improvements for both bicyclists and pedestrians, in 2012 Public Works rebuilt 8 bus stops throughout the community to improve the attractiveness of mass transit.
In 2013, Public Works presented the construction of a paved walkway to residents of the San Felipe neighborhood. This concept received mixed feedback at the public meeting. Public Works is taking in all of the comments to determine the best possible next step, if any.
Also in 2014, Public Works intends to construct an extension to Canyon Road connecting the River Mountain Loop Trail to the Boulder City business corridor. This extension will have dedicated bike lanes on both sides and provide a link between this regional trail system and the city's local bike route system.
Finally, Public Works is working with both the state and the federal government to make improvements to pathways along U.S. Highway 93. It is too early in the process to know if these projects will come to fruition, but multimodal transportation opportunities is consistently at the forefront of Public Works thinking. When it comes to pedestrians, unfortunately Nevada leads the nation in pedestrians killed in vehicular crashes. Boulder City Public Works takes a very serious approach to pedestrian safety when crossing local streets. Public Works believes that marked crosswalks create a false sense of security for pedestrians, because while they can easily see the white bars on the pavement, drivers of vehicles often do not. Therefore, at all marked, mid-block crosswalks on streets with speed limits in excess of 15 mph, Public Works has installed pedestrian activated flashing lights. These devices are far more visible to vehicular traffic, thereby greatly increasing pedestrian safety. To see what other communities are doing throughout the nation, please visit the Spokeane Street Department website.
While all of these projects are great improvements to the city, it is important to maintain the city's existing infrastructure. In 2013, Public Works improved our system for citizens to report sidewalk hazards. Residents can submit maintenance work order requests online through our Citizen Request Tracker service. The Street Division will receive the information electronically and add the required maintenance to their schedule.