Denver — The City of Ontario, Ore., awarded CH2M HILL a five-year contract to operate and maintain the city's water and wastewater systems along with streets, parks and cemeteries. Additionally, CH2MHILL will be responsible for system-wide repair and replacement work while also managing the city's capital improvement program.

“CH2M HILL is a highly reputable firm with deep roots in Oregon and a long-standing presence in this community,” Mayor LeRoy Cammack said. “They have extensive experience in managing all facets of public works, which will provide the city access to the kind of extensive expertise and best practices that only a global firm like CH2M HILL can offer.”

Cammack noted that the Colorado-based CH2M HILL was originally founded in Corvallis, Ore., and has provided operations services for the Heinz plant in the city for 20-plus years. The company also has a successful history of serving Ontario on projects ranging from the design of our water treatment plant in 1970 to the recent delivery of major transportation work such as the Washington Street realignment project.

Cammack specifically pointed to CH2M HILL’s strong track record of successful public-private partnerships, particularly with a number of communities in Oregon, and its award-winning work in Centennial, Colo., which is one of the largest public works partnerships in the country as examples of the quality services and depth of resources the company can deliver to Ontario.

“What differentiates a public-private partnership from privatization is that the city gains access to its private partner’s global resources and knowhow while retaining full ownership of all its assets and facilities,” the mayor said. “The city will continue to own and control the water supply, and we will continue to set water and sewer rates for our customers.”

Both the city and CH2M HILL are focused on providing a smooth and transparent transition of the current workforce to the company.

“We are delighted that the Mayor and Council have expressed their confidence in CH2M HILL by awarding us this important contract, and we look forward to getting to work and delivering exceptional services to the residents of Ontario,” said Sean Haghighi, CH2M HILL vice president of business development.

Haghighi said the company highly values the staff’s experience and institutional knowledge, and looks forward to welcoming them as new associates. Haghighi further explained that the company has appointed a seasoned project manager supported by a dedicated transition team to ensure a smooth and seamless transition process that includes workshops, orientation and continuous training and development going forward.

“In our experience, we have found that transitioned employees often realize increased professional development and expanded career advancement opportunities with CH2M HILL,” he said.

As an employee-owned company, CH2M HILL’s long-term, sustained growth depends on empowering associates to make the right decisions that lead to innovative solutions, service excellence and client satisfaction, Haghighi added.

CH2M HILL’s contract is effective July 2014.