PITTSBURGH – After undergoing a review that lasted longer than six years, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Public Works Director Tom Donatelli have received the American Public Works Association (APWA) accreditation from APWA Region II Director Edward Gottko. Allegheny County is the first public works agency in Pennsylvania to earn APWA accreditation.

The APWA recognizes public works agencies that exceed national standards of performance in engineering, road repair and maintenance, building and parks maintenance, and fleet management.

“We were very impressed with Allegheny County Public Works, and pleased to recommend the department for accreditation,” said Gottko. “In fact, two of the department’s manuals were exemplary, and they will now be models for the standards that other agencies must meet to earn their APWA accreditation.”

Allegheny County Public Works’ safety manual and fleet vehicle manual earned the status of “Model Practices” during the evaluation last fall, when five APWA evaluators from across the country examined the department’s 335 applicable practices.

Gottko said, “The review process, which included site visits by the accrediting team, determined that Allegheny County exceeds national standards for performance in engineering, the maintenance and repair of roads, buildings, and parks, and fleet management.”

Only 46 other public works agencies in the country are accredited by the organization.

Donatelli noted that since 1996, his department has gone from 529 employees with a budget of $57 million to 400 workers and a budget of $35 million. In addition to maintaining and repairing county buildings, the public works department is responsible for 810 miles of roadways, 520 bridges, and 12,000 acres of park land. It is also responsible for maintaining and improving County building infrastructure, and ensures the safety and reliability of the County’s vehicle fleet and heavy equipment.