Ventura County Public Works Agency Celebrates 60 Years
2014 marks the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s (VCPWA) 60th anniversary. Since its inception, the VCPWA has faced challenges, natural and man-made, as population and development have grown through the decades.
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: Central Services, Engineering Services, Transportation, Water and Sanitation and Watershed Protection District.
“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.”
On Jan. 21 – 23, VCPWA held 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.”