The Public Works Department undertook a small reorganization in 1997 and currently exists as the Utilities Team, Right of Way Team, Capital Projects Team, and Support Services Team. The reorganization was accompanied by a review of maintenance-related work responsibilities in the form of work design programs. This work design and the Teams' annual work schedules provide a foundation for continued improvements.
The Utilities Team provides quality service for the water and sanitary sewer customers on Mercer Island. The Team meets and strives to exceed the rules and regulations for quality in drinking water delivery and contained collection of sewage. The Team also assists with snow removal and storm response.
The Right-of-Way Team maintains Mercer Island rights-of-way, storm drains, walkways and trails to ensure a clean, safe and navigable system. Priorities include maintenance for the City's roadways and tree issue resolutions that are in the best interest of the community. The Team also provides snow removal and storm response.
The Capital Projects Team works to complete utility and street improvements on time and on budget and coordinates planning processes that balance the needs of the Island's infrastructure with the best interests of our customers.
The Support Services Teams provides essential operational and informational needs that support the Utilities, Right-of-Way and Capital Project Teams, as well as all other City Departments.
To reach the Public Works Department for non-emergency issues after normal business hours and on weekends, please call (425) 577-5656. A member of our 24-hour Customer Response Team can be dispatched to assist you. In case of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
City Conducts Efficiency Audit of Maintenance Department
At the direction of the City Council, the City recently hired consultants to conduct two interconnected audits of the Maintenance (aka Public Works) Department.
An organizational audit focused on the Department's key work teams, including: Right-of-Way (ROW) and Stormwater Utility; Water and Sewer Utility; Support Services; and Administration divisions. A fleet audit focused on the City's fleet program and vehicle replacement policy.
Audit results found that overall staffing levels for various maintenance functions were lean, and consistent with other cities that bear similar infrastructure responsibilities. John Ostrowski, the organizational audit consultant, found that further reporting requirements and level of service conversations must occur at the Council level, including addressing the need for a better asset management system to produce improved reporting. City staff have identified the replacement of the Maintenance Management System as part of the City's Capital Improvement Plan for 2017-2018 biennium.
In addition, minor modifications to the Department name, to be known henceforth as the Mercer Island Public Works Department, and improved business processes, are both underway.
Meanwhile, Hennessey Fleet Consulting was hired to evaluate the Mercer Island vehicle fleet (excluding fire apparatus) and advise how it could be more effectively managed. Key recommendations are already being implemented, including extending the useful life of heavy equipment, and retaining Police Department vehicles for ten rather than eight years (if not used for patrol work) and for four rather than three years (for patrol vehicles).
For additional information, the audit reports can be found online here, or contact Jason Kintner, Public Works Director at (206)275-7802, or Email Jason.Kintner@mercergov.org.