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City of Centennial and CH2M build on each other’s strengths to serve residents best

CH2M brings awareness to National Public Works Week with City of Centennial partnership to identify goals and objectives, and determine what works and yields the best value.

In Centennial, Colorado, CH2M works as an extension of the city – not a vendor or contractor, but a full member of the City team. We perform public works, code compliance and facilities and parks maintenance for a community of 107,201 residents. During our partnership, recently renewed through 2026, we’ve collaborated with Centennial to identify goals and objectives, and determined what works and yields the best value.

Steve Meininger, CH2M’S Senior Vice President of Operations Management Services, shares this story of extraordinary success:

Our partnership with the City of Centennial serves as a model for a successful public-private partnership across the United States. Nine years ago, when we first started working with the City, we were among the very first private firms to offer these types of services to a city. And in the decade to come, we’ve fine-tuned and streamlined the model to provide the highest value possible.

We are constantly learning from our ongoing support to many cities providing similar services and improving our approaches to adapt to our customers’ changing needs. This is a very dynamic field. Other CH2M clients, like the cities of Johns Creek, Georgia, and Ontario, Oregon, are happy to utilize the wealth of knowledge that comes from CH2M experts who have successfully implemented new services, capabilities and more in other cities around the United States, including Centennial.

Why it works

When Centennial was incorporated in 2001, the new city began with a clean slate and a desire to create a place residents were proud to call home. We knew from the beginning that Centennial’s goal was to be a lean government, partnering with other agencies in the private sector for the majority of delivered services.

“The City of Centennial strives to be efficient, effective and accountable to our citizens in the services provided by the City through smart contracts such as what we have with CH2M,” said Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon. “CH2M is a great partner and we have celebrated many achievements throughout the years. We look forward to continuing to be innovative and responsible services to our residents.”

Faced with the complexity of creating a new public works department in 2007, we began the journey to help achieve the City’s vision of a high-performing public works department that assists in day-to-day operations, while focusing on and attending to the needs of citizens.

Initially, our scope of work for the City was public works. Because of our service achievements, we’ve expanded our work to include code compliance and facilities and parks maintenance – delivering a broad range of services from traffic engineering to snow removal to code enforcement to maintenance of the City’s award-winning park.

Our ability to draw on a worldwide network of expertise from people and projects makes the Centennial partnership work. And in doing so, we’ve been able to do some pretty cool things with Centennial.

For example, in October 2011, we were awarded a 5-year contract, for code-compliance services within the Community Department Development. We fulfilled all code compliance functions of the city, including creating an award-winning program to proactively limit visual sign clutter in public rights-of-way.

In 2016, CH2M helped support the City of Centennial, Lyft, and others (the Denver South Transportation Management Association/Southeast Public Improvement Metropolitan District, Via Mobility Services and Xerox) introduce the Go Centennial Program to address their first and last mile problem – to get travelers from their origins or destinations to transit stations and vice versa. The model applied an on-demand mobile platform that provided efficient transportation connections for people using public transportation to travel via Lyft to and from the Regional Transportation District’s Dry Creek Light Rail Station and also to travel around Centennial for errands or appointments with the City.

Also, we helped our client become the first ever industry-accredited public-private partnership agency by the American Public Works Association. With more than 22,000 municipal, township and county governments in the U.S., Centennial’s Public Works Department became the 119th accredited public works agency.

What other cities in the “same boat” can learn

Public-private partnerships are typically provided at a lower cost than traditional governments. However, even if it’s not always the least expensive alternative, these partnerships most often yield a higher level of quality and service. And a public-private partnership allows cities to tap into a highly trained and engaged workforce, proven technology, strategy and experience. As a purpose-driven company that infuses greater social, environmental, and economic benefits for our clients around the world – we’ve seen it all. And we can help bring the most innovative solutions to a city’s challenges.

“The way our contract is structured, it’s a win-win partnership,” said Craig Faessler CH2M’s Centennial Project Manager. “The client, or city, tells us what they want to accomplish and allows us to determine the best path to reach the outcome desired. This approach empowers the CH2M Team to seek and implement the best and most effective solution. Our staff is highly client-focused, and outstanding dividends are the result.”

Innovative funding solutions

We’ve kept our promise to always go above and beyond for our public-works and city-services clients. In Johns Creek, Georgia, the team excels at identifying and securing state and federal funds for transportation improvements. The team has helped bring over $100 million of additional funding to the community over the past 10 years. CH2M has continuously demonstrated the value of partnership and innovation, even through a shifting economy and changing needs. The Johns Creek team represented the City and received federal grant funding to turn an historic school into a senior center. The project was completed within budget, even saving the city $130,000 by using existing staff to complete the work. The city now has a beautiful and sustainable landmark that serves seniors with recreation, enrichment and social programs.

Community Engagement

As a committed member of the community, CH2M strives to actively engage and spearhead community events. On an annual basis in Centennial, the Public Works team hosts a Public Works Week event for the public to shine a light on the types of services offered, give a first-hand look at some of the cool equipment the team uses and answers community members’ questions.

In Johns Creek CH2M will be leading a Touch-A-Truck event at Newtown Park where residents have the opportunity see and touch heavy Public Works equipment and ask any questions about Public Works or other areas of interest. And in Swainsboro, GA we have a very active Public Works operation including supporting their annual Pine Tree festival in downtown Swainsboro. In Centennial, CH2M is active throughout the summer sponsoring and supporting the many events and concerts occurring at Centennial Center Park.

Learn more about the perks of public-private partnerships.

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