Capital Improvements

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    Pungent pest control

    One Chicago suburb is fortifying its relentless mosquito-abatement efforts with a weapon you'd be more likely to find in an Italian kitchen than inside an insecticide sprayer.

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    Building the budgeting process

    As in many cities, Houston's equipment replacement process is far from ideal. The city has an equipment acquisition fund of $22 million for fiscal year 2006, but funding levels go up and down yearly, according to the availability of money. So monies available don't always match up with needs.

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    Small, medium, or large

    David versus Goliath. Efficient versus ineffective. Weak versus strong. This is how many people may compare small towns to large cities. Small towns' public works departments have small staffs, less red tape, and fewer political problems while big cities have large bureaucracies, more money, and...

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    Open-ended truck specifying speeds process

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    Report: U.S. first responders underfunded

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    Butler County Department of Environmental Services, Butler County, Ohio

    Butler County sits in southwestern Ohio on Interstate 75. Its population of 339,828 ranks it as the eighth largest county in the state, and its current expansion boom is expected to continue for decades to come. Facing such significant sustained growth, the Butler County Department of Environmental...

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    Leslie P. Bland: Director of public works City of Fenton, Mich.

    Leslie Bland got into the public works field at the ground level—literally. An experienced backhoe and grader operator, he answered an ad for a skilled laborer position with Fenton, Mich., in 1969 and was hired. He rose through the ranks and has served as director of public works since 1979.

  • Funding for capital equipment

    2006 public works funding forecast

    Developing and monitoring budgets is not the favorite task of most public works professionals. Having the money to operate and develop the infrastructure, though, makes budgeting a necessary evil. For most cities, counties, and states, that evil is a little less onerous for 2006.

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    Underground utility location made easy

    Buried infrastructure (such as gas, phone, cable, electric, water, and sewer) is critical to all public works departments; it's a form of buried treasure. And, like buried treasure, underground pipe and cable can be hard to find.


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