Mayor John Hickenlooper today announced the selection of locally based engineering and construction firm CH2M HILL as the City’s private sector partner to assist in managing Better Denver, the sweeping infrastructure maintenance and improvement program approved last fall by Denver voters. Hickenlooper also announced the appointment of Don Hunt, former chief executive of engineering firm BRW Inc., as director of the bond program.
“CH2M HILL is known worldwide as an outstanding program management company,” Hickenlooper said. “We are extremely fortunate to have them as our partner in maintaining Denver as one of the most livable cities in the country.”
City Council President Michael Hancock, who will serve on the executive committee overseeing implementation of the Better Denver
program, added, "We look forward to working closely with CH2M HILL and the Administration to deliver quality projects as quickly and efficiently as possible."
The Better Denver program emerged from a package of nine ballot initiatives (A through I) approved by voters in November. Passage of the initiatives creates reliable, ongoing funding to address the City’s critical maintenance and infrastructure needs, including streets, parks and recreation facilities, City buildings, health and human services facilities, libraries, cultural facilities and public safety facilities. A 115-member Infrastructure Priorities Task Force developed the nine bond proposals with input from more than 1,500 residents in a process that lasted more than a year.
“We welcome the opportunity to manage this portfolio of projects. It represents an important investment by the Denver community,” said CH2M HILL President and Group Chief Executive Don Evans. “We are excited to partner with Denver’s exceptional staff and dedicated community volunteers to help make the Better Denver vision a reality for all.”
Denver-based CH2M HILL will manage a team that also includes Matrix Design Group Inc., and several other firms, including local minority and women-owned businesses. They will function as an extension of City staff and, as part of their management role, will be responsible for providing day-to-day customer service to end users. The CH2M HILL project team for Better Denver is made up entirely of Denver-area residents.
Denver Public Works Manager Bill Vidal praised the selection of CH2M HILL, which resulted from a professional procurement process launched immediately after passage of the Better Denver initiatives. “We are delighted to have CH2M HILL on our team,” Vidal said. “This is an innovative public-private partnership that allows us to maximize the outstanding expertise of our City staff and that of a top private sector firm.”
“The citizens of Denver can expect every opportunity to continue their involvement in the Better Denver program,” CH2M HILL’s Evans said. He added that his team will share program milestones and other key developments with residents through stakeholder meetings and other forms of communications, including a detailed Web page that will debut soon at www.DenverGov.org/BetterDenver
In a related announcement, Hickenlooper named Don Hunt director of the Better Denver bond program.
Hunt, former chief executive officer of national, Denver-based engineering firm BRW Inc., now leads The Antero Co., a real estate ownership and advisory firm. He served as chair of the Transportation Subcommittee of the City’s Infrastructure Priorities Task Force. During implementation of the bond program, Hunt will chair the Better Denver Executive Committee, which will develop program policy and manage performance and accountability.
“Don’s expertise, experience and involvement in the Better Denver process equips him well to serve as our “Bond Czar,” Hickenlooper said. “He will be a tremendous asset as we enter the implementation phase of Better Denver.”
“I am pleased to join with Mayor Hickenlooper and the City-CH2M HILL team that will implement this ambitious and impressive bond program for Denver residents,” Hunt said.