Public Works

Public Works

Government / Departments / Public Works

About Us

Danbury’s Public Works Department is comprised of several Divisions which ultimately provide for the core of the services that residents and taxpayers receive. These Divisions include Engineering, Public Buildings, Public Utilities, Construction Services and the Public Services Division which is Parks Maintenance, Highway, Forestry and Vehicle Maintenance. Together, these divisions make up one of the most diversified Public Works Departments in the State of Connecticut with a workforce totaling 140 employees. In the summer months, the employee population reaches over 160.  The division heads and middle management staff are well experienced in their respective fields of responsibility and work well as a team.

The Public Works Department managed approximately $95 million dollars in the delivery of their services to the public and capital projects.  These Divisions, working together under the leadership of the Public Works Director/Acting City Engineer, Superintendents of Public Services, Public Utilities, Public Buildings, Construction Services and other subordinate supervisors, are responsible for the control and maintenance of all City owned or leased structures and the balance of the City’s infrastructure.

The Public Works Department operates under very tight budget constraints. In FY 2016/2017, the total funds allocated to Public Works to perform all of their annual programs, deal with all of the storms that hit the City, maintain all of the public buildings and schools, maintain all of the parks, beaches, playgrounds and school grounds and right-of-way grass islands, maintain all of the roads and bridges, decorative lights in downtown, maintain the multi-million dollar fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment is only 4.2% of the total allocated budget of the City. In addition, with this low funding level, we also pay for all of the fuel that the other departments use, the electric bill for the street lights for the entire City, maintenance and repairs for the large fleet of police vehicles and all of the utilities for our public buildings exclusive of the schools.

The Director and these Division Managers are accountable for the performance of their departments, and the effective and efficient spending of the taxpayers’ money. The management structure of the department, overall, is flat with only one level of managers below the Director. The balance of the management team consists of field personnel, lead personnel and foremen. The Director is hands-on and often is in the field with his managers and staff.

The administration of all the responsibilities of the Public Works Department is very complex and challenging. The Director strives to create a team approach to carry out all of the tasks that the department must perform. The success of the Department is largely attributed to the men and women who perform the work and deliver the services to the taxpayers. The Director strives to create a working environment for his Division Managers and general work force that is based on teamwork, respect, loyalty and accountability. This is a work environment that provides for Division Managers and their work force to be the best at what they do.

Similar to last year, the goal for 2017/2018 includes a concentrated effort to perform more work with less resources. The department must look at new ways of performing the same old tasks. The Director has empowered his Division Managers and their immediate staff to look at more cost effective ways to perform work. All new ideas are considered and analyzed, much like a private business would.

For six years, the initiative to sell millings has generated some revenue and is a practice that will be continued when millings are available. To date, we have taken in $ 96,204 on a product that we would usually have had to pay to dispose of.

The Public Works Director is very active in his field and continually talks to other municipal public works professionals to share experiences and success stories. He has actively chaired the Association of Housatonic Valley Public Works Professionals and is the chairman of ESF3 Public Works Committee for Region 5 for the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The Director is a member of the working group for the Western Council of Government’s Regional Snow Plow Study. His personal goal is to have his department provide a legacy of making decisions, implementing processes and procedures and caring for the City’s infrastructure in a way that will provide meaningful, long lasting contributions and a positive influence on the lives of the residents and the culture of the City.

Accomplishments

All Divisions of the Public Works Department had major accomplishments in the 2016/2017 fiscal year. None of these accomplishments would have happened if it was not for the support of the other City Departments and the Mayor’s Office.  They provide the operational support that allows us to execute our work.  The Director continues to be actively involved in the day to day activities of the various divisions. This past year the Public Works Department was proud to administrate several projects. The following is a summary of some of the projects:

  • Phases 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Danbury High School Addition and Renovations project were approved by the State. The classroom addition is under construction along with several other phases. The Black Box Theater and auto shop improvements have been approved by the State and construction will start soon.
  • Successful completion and the opening of the Danbury Dog Park.
  • Completion and dedication to the Hatting Sculpture in front of City Hall.
  • Reclaimed, milled and paved 8.33 miles of City roads.
  • Chiller replacements at Rogers Park and Broadview Middle School.
  • Successful completion of the design and implementation of the Westville Avenue Improvement Project.
  • Actively involved in the defense of several lawsuits and claims.

The Public Works Department participated in additional training through the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The Association of Public Works Professionals of the Housatonic Valley has been working with DEMHS to secure additional training and equipment. The Director coordinated the third round of training for the Association which included all of the Region 5 towns. This year the Director was actively involved in securing nine digital signs and two portable, generator powered light towers for regional use.

The Tenth Annual Public Works Awareness Day, as part of celebrating National Public Works Week, was held on May 17th.  This event was well attended and provided for more team building, not only between divisions but other City departments.  The event was also attended by several residents and over 140 grammar school children.  Besides the team building theme, the event is geared to bring awareness to the resources that exist in the City of Danbury Public Works, the staff that makes it all happen and career opportunities that the Public Works Industry can provide to young men and women.

The Highway Division, in addition to administrating all of their scheduled programs and dealing with storms and the clean-up from those storms, also was able to resurface 8.33 miles of road and eliminate 16 icing and drainage issues throughout the City which included installing 1,900 LF of pipe and 133 storm water catch basins were replaced or repaired using in-house personnel.  They also replaced or repaired 4 storm drainage culverts and 2 head walls utilizing in-house construction crews and sub-contractors.

Once again, the Construction Services Division has had a significant impact on our ability to stretch our capital dollars. This division works and implements construction of projects, much like a private general contractor would. We have drastically reduced the need for outside construction management of smaller projects and perform construction of these projects in-house by using our in-house staff and equipment. We are doing the core project management for the Heritage Walk Project, Memorial Park at 375 Main Street, the park with the new flagpole at Main and West Street, the Kenosia Avenue Bridge Improvement Project and several other smaller projects.

The Public Buildings Division was able to respond to all work orders. For a small staff, these mechanics have done a tremendous job keeping up with work orders and responding to emergencies.

The Public Utilities Division has been inundated again with compliance reporting requirements to various state and federal agencies. The superintendent and his staff have kept the sewer and water infrastructure up and running while providing the lowest user rates in the State. Significant time and resources have been spent on the issue of phosphorus removal at our sewer treatment facility as it relates to our permit and the science used to set the limits by D.E.E.P.

 

FAQ

Free sand is available for residents at the city garage on Newtown Rd but only may be picked up in 5 gallon buckets.

In the event that the grate on the drain has begun to cave in or rot and needs to be replaced please report it to 311. The Highway Department will then place a large marker above the drain, altering residents to the potential danger as well as indicating that it has been marked for repair. Drain replacement may take some time due to weather conditions and available manpower, if the marker is lost please email us and we will forward the information to the Highway Department.

Residents may freely dispose of household hazardous waste at the HRRA-sponsored event; one event is typically held in May in Newtown and the other is in September in Danbury. The calendar of events and a list of acceptable items can be found here: http://hrra.org/household-hazardous-waste/.

If you have other questions regarding how to dispose of household waste, the State DEP provides helpful information here.

For information on Winters Brothers Transfer Station, please click here: http://wintersbrosct.com/services/transfer-stations/

Residents may freely dispose of household hazardous waste at the HRRA-sponsored event; one event is typically held in May in Newtown and the other is in September in Danbury. The calendar of events can be found here: http://www.hrra.org/current_interest.php. The list of acceptable items that can be brought to these events can be found here: http://www.hrra.org/hhw_what_to_bring.php.

If you have other questions regarding how to dispose of household waste, the State DEP provides helpful information here.

For a list of items that can be disposed of at our local Mom and Pop Recycling Center, please click here.

You may submit a service request asking for a street light to be fixed and it may take some time due to the process. After your request is received a representative from the Highway Department will inspect the light in question and then send a report over to Eversource who will then provide a confirmation number which is logged in our system. Once the request for the light to be fixed is received by Eversource it is then their responsibility to fix it and is out of the hands of the City of Danbury. If you have questions regarding a light that was not fixed, Eversource may be contacted at 1-800-286-2000.

Curb repair begins in the spring after the asphalt plants open and is broken down into two parts: hand repair and machine repair. Hand repair is done first and is relegated to smaller breaks while machine repair may not begin until late summer and is for large-scale repairs. As a result, your curbing may have been broken by the plow driver during a storm in December but it may not be fixed until August or September of the following year as other factors - such as weather conditions and available manpower - influence when it will be fixed. Please be sure to contact 311 to report your broken curb, or email us if you have reported it broken and are looking for an update.

If you would like to request new drains or catch basins on your road please contact 311 and describe your problem to them and it will be sent over to the Highway Department for evaluation. The installation of new drains can be very costly and encompass many studies which may take some time before the project is completed; as a result please be sure to email 311 for updates on your service request.

The City of Danbury provides curbside pick-up for yard debris during the spring and the autumn months. The program runs for six weeks and alternates between zip codes for each week. Residents should place their leaves in paper bags that are not taped and place them curbside for pick-up. Other yard debris such as grass clippings or sod, as well as any rocks or pressure treated lumber will not be picked up. If your bags have been sitting on the curb during the weeks allocated and have not been picked up, please contact 311 in order to notify us. If you wish to dispose of yard debris at times when we are not performing curbside pick-up, you can bring your debris to Ferris Mulch on Plumtrees Rd.

Street sweeping typically begins in the middle of spring and runs throughout the end summer into early fall and is dependent on many factors such as the availability of manpower, machines, as well as weather conditions. If your road has not yet been swept, please submit a service request so that it is logged and properly recorded.

The City of Danbury is proud to offer residents the opportunity to dispose of their recyclables at our recycling truck; which is located at a different location each day of the week from 10am - 2pm. Residents may dispose of such items as glass, plastics 1 and 2, cardboard, newspaper, magazines, and phone books free-of-charge. If you arrive at a designated location during the allotted time and the truck is not there it may be because: 1) The truck is full and the driver had to leave, or, 2) The driver is on a separate route (as he is also a truck driver for the city). Please do not dispose of your materials there in the hopes that he will stop by and pick them up but please bring them home and return on a different day. The schedule of places is:

Monday: War Memorial Parking Lot (Rogers Park)
Tuesday: 100 Aunt Hack Rd (Richter Park)
Wednesday: 35 Hayestown Rd (the PAL Building)
Thursday: 171 S. King St (the volunteer fire house)
Friday: 65 Mill Plain Rd (the green)

Yes, if the plow driver tore up your lawn while plowing please report it to 311 to make sure that it is logged and recorded properly. Many times residents are unaware that their lawn has been damaged until after the snow melts; if that is the case please report it to 311 as soon as it is noticed.

Occasional "scalping" of lawns occurs during winter plowing operations. Some of these are deep enough to fill and re-seed. Others, while unsightly at first, are too shallow to fill. These will grow back on their own from the roots of the grass. Some areas, like corners, intersections, and hills among others, are prone to such damage more than other areas. The deep areas will be filled and seeded as time permits. The rest will be left to grow back on their own.

No, it is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the drains that are located in front of their house. The city does not have the resources to commit our employees to clear leaves and other debris that are blocking the 3,800 drains within the city limits.