Aberdeen Public Works Needs Study Aberdeen City Council

One of the city’s strategic planning goals is to assess the needs of the city’s public works department and begin work on the design and location of a new facility.

This is part of a list of goals announced by City Manager Joe Gaa at an Aberdeen City Council meeting earlier this month. But what that will entail, including the cost of such an endeavor, remains to be determined.

Aberdeen’s Public Works Department has evolved and expanded over the years to include a series of buildings, many of which lie along a two-block stretch of Third Avenue Southwest, near the Lincoln Elementary School.

The 10 buildings are located between South 11th Street and South Ninth Street. Some are used for the storage of materials or equipment and others are used as stores for different departments.

When thinking of the city’s public works buildings, Gaa also includes Ride Line at 205 N. Fourth St. and a Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department building near the Lee Park Golf Course.

Some of these buildings, he said, show their age. Others, like the Ride Line building, have limited space for current needs.

Gaa said the first step is to determine the city’s facility needs.

Public works director Robin Bobzien said looking at existing facilities and the needs of each division is part of the process, as is making projections for the future.

For example, he said, the city’s need for storage continues to grow with the addition of more equipment.

“We didn’t add more people, but we added more equipment,” said Biobzien. “It’s just one of those things where the equipment got bigger and it’s harder to work on in the mechanical field.”

The city has added storage, most recently a steel building near Riverside Cemetery, but storage needs continue.

“It’s been a while to come, there’s a reason we’re at least looking at it,” Bobzien said.

Part of the assessment will likely include visits to other cities to see how their public works departments are being set up, he said. But so far, the cost has not been part of the discussion.

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