The County of Renfrew is responsible for those services which extend or have an impact beyond boundaries of the local municipalities or which benefit from the economies of scale that accrue from the provision of services on a broader basis.
Under the direction of the County Operations Committee and County Council the mandate of the Public Works & Engineering Department is to administer and manage the public infrastructure and the 911 Civic Addressing System delivered by the County.
The main infrastructure under the jurisdiction of the County is the County Road system. The County road system is an integrated network of arterial roadways intended to move, in a safe and efficient fashion, large volumes of traffic at relatively high speed throughout the County of Renfrew. It is the connector between the Provincial Highway System and the local road network and is therefore a vital linkage for movement of goods and services within the County. The road system is established by by-law, under the authority of the Municipal Act. The Renfrew County road system consists of some 811.7 km of generally two-lane roadway approximately 40.6 km of which is urban in nature with the remaining 771.1 km being rural. Included within these are responsibilities for the ancillary items including traffic signals, urban storm sewer systems, rural drainage systems, street lighting and so forth. In addition, the department is responsible for approximately 260 major bridge and culvert structures including such notable structures as the Burnstown and Claybank crossings of the Madawaska River, the Castleford and Fourth Chute Crossings of the Bonnechere River, and the Petawawa Crossing of the Petawawa River. All municipalities contribute to the maintenance of the County Road System, except the City of Pembroke. The City of Pembroke received separated status in the early 1970's and as such ceased to be a member of, and therefore a contributor to, the maintenance of a County Road system since that time.
The County is responsible for the maintenance of the Civic address system. This is a fundamental component of the 911 emergency response system which ensures that police, ambulance and fire services are delivered to those who need them in the most efficient and effective way possible.
The department's mandate encompasses a broad and diverse range of activities necessary for the safe and efficient movement of goods and services throughout the County. Despite their diversity, these activities generally fall into one of five categories:
The department has a staff of 40 based in five locations and is led by the Director of Public Works and Engineering, Mr. Dave Darch, P.Eng., and is responsible for all aspects of the department's operations including administration, management as well as being the technical authority for the corporation.
In addition to the in-house resources of the department, the department secures a variety of goods and services from the private sector in support of both the maintenance and construction activities of the department where it is economically justified to do so. The vast majority of these goods and services are purchased from local suppliers, thus reinvesting local tax dollars within the local area.