BALTIMORE CITY, MARYLAND

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

PUBLIC WORKS

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES

On July 1, 2009, the Department of General Services was created (City Charter, Art. VII, secs. 130-134). Formerly, it had been the Bureau of General Services under the Department of Public Works.

The construction, demolition, alteration, operation, and maintenance of all municipal buildings and related improvements is the responsibility of the Department. All plans and specifications for these City buildings and related improvements, including those involving engineering questions, must be submitted to the Director of General Services for approval.

A system for the uniform identification of all real property within the City is supported by the Department. Plats and other records of all parcels of real property within the City also are maintained by the Department. These plats and records note the ownership of each parcel, and the symbol by which each parcel is identified. Added to these are plats and records of tunnels, pipes, mains, sewers, conduits, and other underground structures, both public and private that are maintained by the Department.

The Department approves new streets and street names, determines building numbers, adopts rules and regulations regarding plats and plans relating to the location of streets, and prepares these plats and plans as required by the Board of Estimates or by ordinance.

Reporting to the Department are four divisions: Administration, Design and Construction/Major Projects, Facilities Maintenance, and Fleet Management.

ADMINISTRATION DIVISION
The Administration Division was formed in 2009 when the Department of General Services was made an agency separate from the Department of Public Works.

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION/MAJOR PROJECTS DIVISION
The Design and Construction/Major Projects Division started as the Building Engineering Division and the Construction Division under the Department of Public Works. Both merged to form the Design and Construction Division within the Department of General Services in July 2009.

Construction and engineering services are provided and coordinated by the Division.

FACILITIES MAINTENANCE DIVISION
In July 2009, the Facilities Maintenance Division was placed under the Department of General Services.

FLEET MANAGEMENT DIVISION
The Fleet Management Division transferred from the Bureau of General Services under the Department of Public Works to the Department of General Services In July 2009.

The Division maintains, repairs, and operates all motor vehicles and related equipment owned by the City (whether held for general service or assigned for the use of a particular office or agency), including Police and Fire Department vehicles and apparatus. Related garages, depots, and shops also are maintainned and operated by the Division. Moreover, the Division inspects all City vehicles and related equipment and keeps records of how these vehicles and equipment are handled and operated. In addition, the Division is responsible for the assignment of these vehicles and related equipment for the use of officers and other City agencies, and the maintenance or the hiring of any hauling or passenger service needed by any municipal agency (City Charter, Art. VII, secs. 132 (g)).


DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

In Baltimore City, the Department of Public Works originated in 1854 as the Water Department. It reformed in 1925 as the Department of Public Works.

The Department supervises all public works made by or for the City or any City agency. All plans and specifications for these public works, including those involving engineering questions, must be submitted to the Director of Public Works for approval. Responsible for the construction, maintenance, and repair of the City's public works, the Department has charge of their construction, demolition, alteration, operation, and maintenance.

Under the Department's purview also is the City's water supply, street cleaning, sewage, and solid waste services. In addition, at the request of a City agency, the Department tests materials and supplies purchased or used by the agency (City Charter, Art. VII, secs. 27-42).

In addition to the Bureau of Solid Waste and the Bureau of Water and Wastewater, the Department oversees nine offices: Asset Management; Compliance and Laboratories; Engineering and Construction; Fiscal Affairs; Legal and Regulatory Affairs; Legislative Affairs; Strategy and Performance; Sustainable Energy; and Special Projects.

BUREAU OF SOLID WASTE
The Bureau of Solid Waste has charge of waste disposal; the construction, operation, and maintenance of all drains, sewers, and sewage disposal facilities; and the inspection or supervision of sewer or drain construction and repair work.

Street cleaning, and the collection, disposal, and recycling of garbage, ashes, refuse, trash, and other waste matter also are among the Bureau's duties.

The Bureau collects residential trash and recycling. It cleans City streets, alleys, and public lots. By appointment, bulk trash items are picked up. The Bureau. also conducts Citywide cleanups, and coordinates special recycling programs. A fleet of boats designed to keep the City Harbor clean is maintained by the Bureau.

BUREAU OF WATER & WASTEWATER
In 1854, the Bureau of Water and Wastewater started as the Water Department. When the Department of Public Works was created in 1925, the Water Department reformed as the Bureau of Water Supply under the Department of Public Works. In 1979, it reorganized as the Bureau of Water and Wastewater.


[photo, Loch Raven Reservoir, Baltimore County, Maryland] The Bureau has charge of the City water supply and of all related properties, reservoirs, streams, pumping and filtration stations, pipes, apparatus, and equipment. It operates three reservoir watersheds: Loch Raven Reservoir, Liberty Reservoir, and Pretty Boy Reservoir. Three water filtration plants - Montebello I and II, and Ashburton - also are run by the Bureau. In addition, the Bureau is responsible for two wastewater treatment plants: Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Loch Raven Reservoir, Baltimore County, Maryland, May 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


Low-Income Water Assistance Program. For households with delinquent water bills or turn-off notices, the Low-Income Water Assistance Program may be able to help. Applications are made through the Baltimore Community Action Centers.

Senior Citizen Water Discount Program. The Bureau administers the Senior Citizen Water Discount Program for City residents, aged 65 or older whose annual household gross income is under $25,000. Qualifying seniors receive a 39% discount on their quarterly bill for water, stormwater and sewer rates.

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