Road & Bridge audit available

In late 2014, the Ouray County Board of County Commissioners and the County Administrator initiated a comprehensive audit of the County’s road and bridge department and policies. This was done with full support of the Road & Bridge (R&B) Department and Road Committee. Under increasing pressure to do more with less and ensure maximum efficiencies, it was clear that drastic and creative measures are necessary to provide and maintain a cost-effective county road system and to align expectations realistically with available funding and resources.

The audit team was asked to review budgets, previous reports, and policies; interview county staff, commissioners, Road Committee members, neighboring county R&B staff, and the general public; assess R&B assets, including road infrastructure, buildings, fleet vehicles, and equipment; and, in short, find out what we are doing right or wrong, and what we can do better.

The audit was completed in the fall of 2015. The report with its observations, comments, and recommendations is available for public review on the county’s website, www.ouraycountyco.gov. The County Administrator and BOCC have taken the first steps to implementing the audit’s recommendations, which include:

•    Developing a communications plan for improving internal communications as well as public outreach,
•    Preparing  capital improvement plans for equipment and facilities,
•    Optimizing departmental staffing,
•    Developing road and bridge operations plans for both winter and non-winter maintenance,
•    Providing the basic tools/improvements needed to efficiently maintain the fleet and equipment,
•    Optimizing the use of the existing PubWorks software program to provide better accounting and cost control within the Road and Bridge Department, and
•    Working with the public to align service expectations with available resources and funding.

The BOCC is working with the County Administrator, Road and Bridge Department, Road Committee, and technical experts to conduct public outreach and ensure public participation in the implementation of audit recommendations.  One of the audit findings was “the amount of funding is inadequate to meet current expectations.” There will be some soul searching for Ouray County citizens to determine the kind of road system we want and how we will pay for it.

For more information or to provide input, please contact:  Connie Hunt, Ouray County Administrator, at 970-325-7263 or chunt@ouraycountyco.gov.