What is the Public Works Service Bureau?
The Public Works Service Bureau (PWSB) provides a resource for public works staff members from cities of all sizes to connect with and learn from others how best to improve work efficiencies, learn new techniques, and maximize available resources. Our goal is “communicate to innovate!”
The PWSB will provide the following:
- Invaluable tools and resources for public works departments that provide essential services
- Efficient use of public resources to maintain infrastructure, which is critical to long-term sustainability
- Specific data that helps public works staff and civic leaders make informed decisions and policies to improve quality of life
- Stable and sustainable communities through the in-depth understanding of the workings of public works departments
- Improved infrastructure operational efficiencies by cultivating communication between agencies
The Iowa Highway Research Board awarded a two-year start up grant to the Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS) program at Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation to develop the Iowa Public Works Service Bureau (PWSB) and secure permanent financing. This project is Phase 2 of the PWSB project; the initial phase was a feasibility study to determine if cities across the state would be interested in having a public works service bureau. During the feasibility study, a questionnaire was sent to all cities with populations of 250 people and more. The questionnaire asked if cities would use a system that provided contact information for public works staff, asset management information, job descriptions and pay levels for public works staff, sample ordinances and policies, and better communications with the Iowa DOT. Over 80% of the respondents indicated they were likely to use those applications.