On Jan. 12, 1954, several independently functioning units within the region were consolidated into a single public works department. The County’s population was 141,300 and Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Moorpark were not yet cities. The agency operated with 265 people and had expenditures of less than $4 million. Challenges at the time were urban growth, adequate water supply, enforcement activities, personnel shortages, and capital project funding.
Today, the County population is over 831,700 and the Agency operates with 393 employees and an operating and capital budget of $497.0 million. Current challenges still include growth, adequate water supply, enforcement activities, and capital project funding (all on a much larger scale), but now also include sustainability and succession planning. The Agency is now made up of five departments:
“The 60th anniversary is a testament to all of the Agency’s hard work, character, and teamwork, being able to meet the needs of the Ventura County community as it’s grown, as well as changes in technology and procedure,” said Jeff Pratt, VCPWA Director. “We embrace innovation because it provides us with a better way to serve our County’s citizens.”
VCPWA is already looking ahead to an abundance of major projects:
· The Engineering Services Department is working on the new Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) Hospital Replacement Wing – a $214.0 million construction project – which is one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the County. The project will replace aging non-seismic compliant facilities with state-of-the-
· The Transportation Department was recently awarded nearly $3.0 million from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). These extremely competitive awards are only given for projects that can significantly reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The Department projects include road widening, installing new traffic signals, and installing bike lanes.
· The Water and Sanitation Department is in the planning stages of a $48.0 million desalter project that will treat salty groundwater and produce up to 5,000 acre-feet per year of high quality water for use by agricultural and residential customers in the Moorpark area.
· The Watershed Protection District just completed an $11.0 million project that consisted of widening Calleguas Creek and bank improvements to increase the Calleguas Creek flow capacity. The project removed over 900 homes and businesses in the Woodside Green subdivision, the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park and a portion of the Village at the Park in the City of Camarillo from the threat of 100-year flood and saved property owners approximately $800,000 to $1,100,000 in annual flood insurance costs.
On Jan. 21 – 23, VCPWA will hold its annual State of the Agency meeting to focus on current projects, new initiatives at the County or Agency level, innovative department projects, recognizing employees, and more. This year’s theme, “The Journey Continues,” reflects the Agency’s mission to explore innovative new projects and seek out new technology and solutions to fulfill the needs of the public.
“During this year’s annual meeting, we will take a look at not only where we’ve been, but also where we’re going,” explains Pratt. “Everyone involved, including our CEO and Board of Supervisors, have played pivotal roles in our success. Our 60th anniversary kicks off with exciting new developments on the horizon.”
Who/What: VCPWA’s Annual State of the Agency Meeting
When: Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 8 a.m., and Thursday, Jan. 23, at 8 a.m.
Where: Saticoy Operations Yard, 11251 Riverbank, Saticoy, Calif. 93004
Denise Bean-White, ext. 111
Alicia Rutledge, ext. 116