New Public Works Director Named
Breckenridge Town Manager Rick Holman announced the promotion of James Phelps to serve as the director of public works for the Town. Phelps began with Breckenridge Public Works on May 18, 1987 as a seasonal maintenance worker and rose through the ranks to lead the fastest growing department in the organization.
“Throughout my time here in Breckenridge I have always been impressed by our public works folks, especially with the level of service they provide and how cooperatively they work with other departments,” stated Holman. “Public Works has involvement in nearly every function of Town operations from events to transit to our water utility. For the past 20 years James has provided great leadership and is very deserving of this promotion.”
For thirty years, Phelps dedicated his professional career to serving the Town. He was first employed as seasonal staff for the parks division from 1987 - 1996, and then began his full time career as a streets operator. Phelps was promoted to streets superintendent in 1998, which morphed into the streets & parks manager in 2003. He advanced to assistant director in 2006, and most recently, served as interim public works director for the past four months. His promotion to director of public works was effective May 10.
A Colorado native, Phelps graduated from Estes Park high school and attended the University of Colorado where he obtained an Environmental Biology degree. After traveling extensively through South America in the mid-1990s, he returned full time to Breckenridge to further his professional career with the Town of Breckenridge and met his wife, Amy.
“I am passionate about using innovative solutions to support our progressive mountain community in every area of service,” remarked Phelps. “I am honored to continue to serve the community of Breckenridge to ensure the highest quality experience for our residents and guests."
Many locals know Phelps as an avid mountain biker and Nordic skier. He also enjoys traveling, camping and hiking with his family. Phelps is active in professional affiliations and has held numerous board and advisory board roles over the years, including past president of the Colorado Association of Roadway Maintenance. He is a long standing member of the American Public Works Association (APWA), and currently serves as the Colorado APWA Chapter board secretary.
The fastest growing department in the Town, Public Works has 80 full-time and 20+ seasonal employees in seven divisions. The Breckenridge Free Ride transit system is slated to transport 1 million riders in 2017, and construction of a new second water plant is in final design planning. The primary goal of the Public Works Department is to maintain, protect and ensure the future of the Town’s infrastructure while educating the public on available services as well as supporting a wide variety of special projects and events. The divisions include administration, engineering, facilities, fleet maintenance, the Free Ride transit system, streets and parks, and water.