After months of diligent work by its staff, Arapahoe County Public Works and Development (PWD) has earned re-accreditation through the American Public Works Association (APWA).
In 2018, Arapahoe County PWD became the first county in Colorado to earn APWA accreditation and just the 137th agency in North America. Less than one percent of the nation’s public works departments have earned this distinction. To stay accredited, agencies must reapply every four years.
Since the Fall of 2020, PWD staff scrutinized and updated 41 chapters that outline how the department conducts every facet of its operations and business practices. In total, staff outlined about 350 practices, which include topics such as safety training, utility coordination, street sweeping, land development and how the department interacts and engages with the public.
This process is at the heart of PWD’s core commitment to improving the quality of life for County residents while refining and delivering its services. PWD Director Bryan Weimer praised his staff for gathering and formatting the material, which was reviewed by a three-member APWA evaluation team at the end of February. “All staff are recognized with this designation, as it acknowledges the great services each and every one of you perform on a daily basis for our residents, businesses and customers,” Weimer said. “Thank you for your commitment to the community and for continuously improving the services we provide.”
The APWA review panel examined cited several areas where PWD has model practices. “Your street Cleaning document was very well thought out, and one of the best documents that I have reviewed,” according to one evaluator.
Weimer recognized Engineering Services Manager Chuck Haskins and Business Associate Judy Ligrani, who were instrumental in keeping the re-accreditation process on track.
“Every team member plays a vital role in this process and should be proud of the work we do serving Arapahoe County residents,” said Haskins, who led the re-accreditation team.
The accreditation process is a self-assessment that objectively evaluates, verifies and recognizes whether the department’s practices and procedures are compliant with recommended practices set by the industry through the APWA Public Works Management Practices Manual.
Each of PWD’s divisions plays a role in the reaccreditation process, which involves reviewing and updating practices, policies and procedures—up to 568 in total. A single practice can run anywhere from 25 to 100 pages, so it’s no wonder staff have been working on the project for almost 18 months. “This process takes significant time,” Haskins said. “But a review of each chapter reveals that staff took their time to thoroughly and completely update each section to ensure we’re providing top notch service to our customers. It’s a testament to the dedication and professionalism of our staff.”
Ligrani, who serves as the department’s APWA reaccreditation coordinator, agrees. “I get a lot of satisfaction seeing everything documented in writing,” she said. “It’s been a lot of work, and we’re a better organization for being so meticulous.”