Public Works & Utilities
The Public Works and Utilities Department is among the most visible of all City of Duluth departments. All residents receiving water, natural gas, sanitary sewer, and storm water services or traveling on streets and bridges are connected with Public Works and Utilities.
But it doesn't stop there. The department's responsibilities extend to the utilities' infrastructure as well.
Jim Benning is the Director of Public Works and Utilities. His office manages the department's personnel, administration, budget development, organizational development and strategic planning.
The mission of the Public Works and Utilities Department is to provide professional engineering services, street maintenance activities, and water, natural gas, sanitary sewer, stormwater, and street lighting utilities to Duluth’s businesses and residents in a safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sound manner.
The Department’s vision is to become a functionally integrated organization operating at optimum efficiencies and providing cost-effective and reliable service for all Duluthians.
The City entered into the utility business in 1898 when it purchased the Duluth Gas and Water Company. The original 1.25 million dollar purchase was driven by the desire to revamp the water supply in the City to eliminate water-borne illness. An important result was an entrance into the gas business.
The Public Works and Utilities Department was created by the City of Duluth in 1999 when the Public Works and Water & Gas Departments were merged to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.