A Program Of The

City Of Columbia

City Manager Announces Utility Operations, Engineering, and Customer Care Reorganization

CW2020 Employee Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 1

City Manager Teresa Wilson announced organizational changes for the former Department of Utilities & Engineering and Customer Care that became effective on January 1, 2017. A new Assistant City Manager for Utilities & Engineering will oversee the Department of Engineering, Department of Utility Operations, and Customer Care & Field Services. In December 2016, Wilson also announced that an assessment of all utility operations is underway.

“We have started the process, but our work will continue.  I am proud of the teamwork displayed internally and I am humbled by the commitment of our staff to work diligently on improving our operations. The provision of water and sewer services is an integral part of the future growth and development of our city. Specifically, water quality is a primary focus for all of our customers. By working together, we will elevate our services and operations in order to prepare our community for future expansion and an enhanced quality of life,” Wilson stated.

New Organization:

New Organization

Improvements Underway:

The reorganization also comes with efforts to improve business practices and customer service. The goal is to provide high-quality municipal services efficiently, effectively, and responsively. This focus is part of Envision Columbia, the City’s 2036 Vision Statement.

City utility staff are using lessons learned from the Clean Water 2020 program to expand improvements utility-wide. Several efforts impacting water and sewer customers are underway while others are still in the development phase. Highlights include:

  • Gap analysis to identify areas department-wide where processes could be improved for efficiency and customer service.
  • A customer satisfaction strategy that recommits resources to helping staff continually improve their level of service. Staff training, meter reading auditing, and goals for improving response times are important elements of this strategy.
  • Investment in technologies to assist in customer service, including Advanced Metering Infrastructure and updated online water and sewer services portal for improved reporting and bill-payment.