City of Durango, CO

Director of Public Works

Location: City of Durango, CO
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Director of Public Works
City of Durango, CO

About Durango, Colorado

Nestled deep within the San Juan Mountains, Durango, Colorado is an authentic mountain town full of old west character, outdoor recreation, and natural wonders off the beaten path.  Durango covers 17.10 square miles at an altitude of 6,512 feet and has a growing population of nearly 19,000.

Durango is a friendly town with a tight knit, highly educated community. It is the home Fort Lewis College, a four-year, public liberal arts college, and is known worldwide for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a heritage railway that travels from Durango to the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado via steam-powered trains.

With its combination of historic architecture, entertainment, and shopping, Durango boasts galleries, boutiques, restaurants, bars, and a robust downtown business district. Unique dining establishments consist of locally owned restaurants.

Outdoor activities are a natural part of the lifestyle in Durango including miles of world-class skiing, hiking, rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails. Durango offers national parks, archeological sites, and gold mines to explore. The Purgatory Ski Resort, located 25 miles north of downtown Durango, has 99 trails, 12 lifts, a vertical drop of over 2,000 feet, and more than 1,500 acres of skiable terrain.


Durango, Colorado is a home rule city with a council-manager form of government. The Durango City Council serves as its legislative and policy-making authority. Under this form of government, the eligible electors of Durango elect five residents to serve a four-year term as members of the City Council to represent them and serve as the legislative and policy-making authority for the City. The council elects a mayor from among its members to a one-year term of office. 

The Position

The Director of Public Works plans, directs, leads, and oversees the activities and operations of the Public Works Department including the Utilities and Engineering Divisions. This position reports to the Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director and supervises the Assistant Utilities Director, the Assistant City Engineer, and the Administrative Assistant. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assume full management responsibility and provide leadership direction for all Public Works Department services and activities including water, wastewater, drainage, and engineering functions; recommend and administer policies and procedures.
  • Manage the development and implementation of Public Works Department goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for each assigned service area.
  • Establish, within City policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; allocate resources accordingly.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate, through subordinate level managers, the Public Works Department's work plan; assign projects and programmatic areas of responsibility; review and evaluate work methods and procedures; meet with management staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Assess and monitor workload, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identify opportunities for improvement; direct and implement changes.
  • Select, train, motivate and evaluate Public Works Department personnel; provide or coordinate staff training; work with employees to correct deficiencies; implement discipline and termination procedures.
  • Manage and participate in the development and administration of the Public Works Department budget; approve the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; approve expenditures and implement budgetary adjustments as appropriate and necessary.
  • Evaluate and forecast the City's public work needs; identify Department's capital improvement project needs.
  • Manage and administer engineering consulting and construction contracts; review work to ensure compliance with specifications; inspect construction of work; recommend modifications; process payment requests.
  • Oversee professional civil engineering functions, including review of private and public development plans, plats, specifications, and related documents; engineering permitting; ensure compliance with codes and standards including the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4); and participate in the design and review of water, wastewater, street, drainage, solid waste, and other City facilities as needed.
  • Review as-built plans; ensure that records and files are updated to incorporate changes; revise maps, as appropriate.
  • Undertake various engineering plans and studies such as traffic studies, transportation plans, and water models.
  • Explain, justify and defend Public Works Department programs, policies, and activities; negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues.
  • Represent the Public Works Department to other City departments, elected officials, outside agencies and the public; coordinate Public Works Department activities with those of other departments and outside agencies and organizations.
  • Provide staff assistance to the Assistant City Manager; participate on a variety of boards, commissions and committees; prepare and present staff reports and other necessary correspondence.
  • Provide staff support to assigned boards and commissions.
  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings; stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public works and civil engineering.
  • Respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Operations, services and activities of a comprehensive public works maintenance program.
  • Civil Engineering principles and practices.
  • Advanced principles of design and construction.
  • Management skills to analyze programs, policies and operational needs.
  • Principles and practices of program development and administration.
  • Principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration.
  • Principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation.
  • Pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes and regulations. 

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned professional engineer with experience in local, state and federal water and wastewater utility regulations and civil engineering principles and practices.  The successful candidate should possess financial knowledge to include fiscal planning, budget management and capital improvement projects.

The ideal candidate must possess excellent customer service skills and a strong ability to collaborate and maintain relationships with stakeholders and work closely and effectively with the City staff and the community.  This individual should demonstrate the capacity and interest to be an effective mentor and leader for staff. Advanced written and verbal communication skills are imperative for this position. 

Education and Experience

Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering, public administration, business administration, or a closely related field. Ten years of increasingly responsible experience in public works or engineering, including 5 years of administrative and supervisory responsibility is required. Possession of a Registered Professional Engineer's License issued by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyor is highly preferred. 


The City of Durango is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for the successful out-of-area candidate.  

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033

**The deadline to receive resumes is March 17, 2021**

The City of Durango is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.