Colorado Public Works Journal, Summer 2018

68 Colorado Public Works Journal by Robert Davis What happens when two public works depart- ments locate their operations centers across the street from one another? No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke—or a pitch for Mike Rowe’s next television show. It is, however, a question more public works departments in Colorado should consider. As the governmental body responsible for maintaining communal infrastructure, an effective public works department can’t afford to be myopic. Particularly, when that department serves an area set to welcome heaps of new residents. The Town of Parker and Douglas County knew this all too well when they began planning to locate their new operations centers across the street from one another. Douglas County is home to Colorado’s sixth-fastest growing metropolitan city, Lone Tree, and local experts estimate that city alone will add another 31,000 residents in the next two decades. Parker offers its residents a small town setting and easy access to employment centers such as the Denver Tech Center. According to the Town of Parker 2035 Plan, the Town estimates its population will nearly double. This would inevitably place a lot more stress on local roadways, chiefly during a snowy winter season. So, when the Town of Parker and more recently Douglas County realized they needed to upgrade their operations cen- ters in order to keep up with public demand, officials thought ahead and decided that the departments should become neighbors. Parker moved into their new space two years ago while Douglas County waited another 20 months before moving into theirs. By design, the upgraded spaces increased each entity’s ability to serve their residents in a safer and more efficient manner while reducing costs to the taxpayers. “The plan was to locate our operations centers together from the beginning,” Rod Meredith, Public Works Director for Douglas County, told Colorado Public Works Journal. “We try to partner with someone else at all of our facilities because it consolidates facilities and provides efficiency to the taxpayers.” Douglas County Public Works has six facilities across the county. The new center houses their road, snow, and street operations for Districts 1 and 4. To Meredith, having a depart- ment of that size presents enough challenges on its own to warrant taking a careful approach to designing their new building in a way that won’t negatively impact taxpayers. In order to do so, Douglas County had to design an operations center that could house all of the necessary equipment and complete it with up-to-date technology that will help decrease Good Neighbors