Public Works and Utility Director

General Statement of Duties

Performs difficult professional, administrative and managerial work in planning, organizing and directing the varied public utilities and public works services for the City.

Distinguishing Features of the Class

An employee in this class is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the work of employees engaged in a wide variety of municipal operations and services, including streets, facilities maintenance, grounds maintenance, solid waste and recycling, storm water management, water distribution and wastewater collection systems operation and maintenance, and contract management and monitoring of the wastewater treatment plant.  The employee serves as Operator in Responsible Charge of the water distribution and sewer collection systems and the cross-connection control program and conducts all water sampling and reporting for the water and sewer systems.  The employee provides technical guidance and support to City management, elected officials, various boards and committees and City staff in the improvement of public works and utilities systems, and ensures that modern, safe, effective and efficient practices are utilized by staff.  Work involves long range planning for infrastructure needs and regulatory compliance; participation in operating and capital budgeting and oversight of capital improvement projects; contract management; addressing citizen issues and problems; and staff hiring and management.  Work requires strong management knowledge and skills in budgeting, project management, some engineering design knowledge, and knowledge of personnel and supervisory principles, practices and laws and regulations.  Work subjects the employee to inside and outside environmental conditions.  The employee may be exposed to noise, equipment, fumes, and other possible safety hazards when inspecting projects. Considerable tact and courtesy are required in frequent public contact.  Work is performed under the general direction of the City Manager and is evaluated through periodic conferences, written reports, and public acceptance of utilities services and quality of water.

Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Duties and Tasks

Plans, organizes and directs the activities of the various divisions in the department; researches and develops recommendations for short and long-range operational, system and service changes, improvements and expansions for meeting citizen needs in all areas of the department; ensures coordination of activities with other City departments.

Advises the City Manager, elected officials and various boards on a wide variety of matters such as construction, improvement, capacity management, environmental compliance, and citizen and intergovernmental relations; responds to citizen inquiries and complaints regarding infrastructure and development issues; attends staff meetings and Council meetings to make presentations or provide advice as needed; recommends policy changes to the City Manager and Council.

Manages and supervises personnel through subordinate supervisors; selects, hires, and promotes personnel in consultation with the City Manager; confers with Manager on classification and pay changes; ensures performance excellence and appropriate training and maintenance of certifications; sets priorities and deadlines; provides guidance and direction on daily and weekly basis to supervisors; oversees and conducts performance evaluations, and handles disciplinary action for employees.

Plans, manages and administers the operating budget; oversees and approves expenditures; reviews invoices for purchases; researches and prepares specifications for purchase of equipment; estimates the cost of construction and other projects; consults with and keeps Manager informed.

Plans, organizes, and monitors contracted work, including for the wastewater treatment plant; coordinates with engineers and contractors; makes field inspections of public works and utilities projects to review progress and ensure completion.

Reviews and prepares plans and specifications for constructions projects and developments; coordinates changes with contractors; monitors compliance with plans and specifications during the construction process; reviews site plans for development and ensures construction meets City needs; participates in technical review of all projects in the City, public and private.

Determines needs and plans for utilities service maintenance and systems, street and related structures construction, and replacement, repair and maintenance needs in all public works areas.

Engages in considerable personal contact with citizens, contractors, builders, and other City departments, county and other governmental agencies concerning service requests and complaints; investigates and decides or recommends actions; coordinates projects with other departments.

Ensures OSHA compliance in all phases of the department’s work; ensures safety training is provided and work is performed in compliance with safety standards and rules.

Conducts all water sampling and reporting for the water distribution and sewer collection systems on a daily, monthly, quarterly and annual basis; works with and instructs citizens on properly collecting samples in the home.

Responsible for preparation, maintenance and quality of a variety of reports such as the Consumer Confidence Report, Solid Waste Management Annual Report, Utilities Department Audit and State Reports, and various annual reports for the Manager and Council.

Performs tasks as needed to enact the City’s FOG program (fats, oils and grease); keeps records of grease traps in the City and performs periodic inspections to ensure they are maintained appropriately.

Additional Job Duties

Performs other duties as assigned.

Recruitment and Selection Guidelines

Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities

Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of public works and utilities administration.

Thorough knowledge of the principles of water distribution, sewage collection, water and wastewater treatment, pumping stations, and metering.

Thorough knowledge of the equipment and materials used in the construction, maintenance and repair of water and sewer lines and water and wastewater treatment plants.

Thorough knowledge of the equipment and materials used in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds and streets, and equipment used in waste and debris collection.

Thorough knowledge of City policies and of local, state, and federal laws and regulations relating to management of public works and utilities services.

Thorough knowledge of the hazards of the work, safety precautions and OSHA regulations.

Thorough knowledge of the application of information technology to construction monitoring, office systems, utility billing and mapping.

Considerable knowledge of governmental budgeting, personnel and purchasing practices and the City’s related policies and procedures, and of the coordination and administration of governmental capital projects.

Considerable knowledge of and skill in modern and effective supervisory practices including leadership, motivation, communications, delegation, discipline, and performance review.

Some knowledge of civil engineering principles and practices.

Skill in collaborative conflict resolution, public speaking and customer contact.

Ability to perform cost estimations, plan, design, and manage large municipal projects.

Ability to prepare complex and technical records and reports and present findings and recommendations.

Ability to maintain effective working relationships with City officials, other public officials, co-workers, consultants, community leaders, contractors, subordinates, and the general public.

Ability to present ideas effectively orally, in written form and in presentations.

Ability to exercise sound judgment and initiative.

Ability to be tactful and to use diplomacy in dealing with the public, especially in handling and resolving complaints.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to perform the physical life functions of climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, talking, grasping, feeling, hearing and repetitive motions.

Must be able to light work exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally; and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force frequently and/or constantly.

Must possess visual acuity to produce and review written reports and records including mathematical calculations, operate a computer, analyze data, and read maps, schematic drawings and plans, to operate trucks or other equipment, and to inspect work to determine accuracy, neatness and thoroughness.

Desirable Education and Experience

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in public administration, civil engineering, business or related field and experience of a progressively responsible nature in public works and/or utilities management; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Special Requirement

Possession of a valid North Carolina driver’s license.

Possession of wastewater collection system operator certification grade III.

Possession of water distribution system operator certification grade B.

Job Open/Close Date

03/01/2024/Until Filled

Salary Grade 24: Salary Range $73,722 – $114,269 annually, commensurate with qualifications.
City of Lowell offers a comprehensive benefits program. Applications can be found and submitted online at Employment Application or at City Hall. Email optional resume and cover letter to: Mail applications to: City of Lowell, Attn: Cheryl Ramsey, Human Resource Officer, 101 W. First Street, Lowell, NC 28098. The City of Lowell is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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