The Department of Public Works is one of the County’s largest departments. While the daily functions of the Department of Public Works are numerous and vary greatly in nature they all have one common entity and that is the County Road System. RCW 36.82.070 specifically restricts the use of any Road Funds to road related activities.
The overall function of the Department of Public Works is to provide services primarily in the unincorporated portions of Stevens County. These services include the maintenance, design and construction of the County road system, and the operation of solid waste facilities, which include the landfill and various transfer stations.
The Stevens County Public Works Department, through the Road and Equipment Rental and Revolving Fund (ER&R) Divisions, accomplishes roadway maintenance, construction and administrative activities for approximately 1,489 miles of county road. Of the 1,489 miles of county road, approximately 665 are paved. The remaining 824 miles consist of gravel road. The Road Division is directly responsible for road maintenance and improvement. The ER&R Division supports Road Division activities by providing all necessary equipment and materials.
Road Division activities are split generally into maintenance, administration and construction. Road Division revenues come from a variety of sources and are statutorily restricted for proper road uses only as provided in RCW 36.82.
In general, road maintenance activities include but are not limited to road grading and gravel placement, pothole patching, crack sealing, repair of frost heave areas and dig outs, paved road maintenance consisting of thin pavement overlays and bituminous surface treatment (BST), storm drainage, bridge and guardrail maintenance, roadway striping, vegetation management and winter snow plowing and sanding.
Administration has the responsibility for the general direction and financial administration of the Public Works Department. This includes coordination of activities with other county departments and governmental entities. It also provides centralized and quality information, expertise, and leadership that fosters informed decisions about Public Works Staff, citizens, and the Board of County Commissioners.
Construction activities generally include grant and locally funded infrastructure improvements. Most construction projects involve some realignment of roads to prevailing standards and improvement of surfacing. Construction projects usually involve some acquisition of right-of-way or easement rights.