Water Director

City of Hillsboro | Hillsboro, OR

Posted Date 4/01/2019

The Water Department manages the activities of three commissions. Management responsibilities include administration of the public meetings and other governance functions for each commission.

  • Under the Hillsboro City Charter, a three-member locally-appointed Utilities Commission is granted governance authority over operation of the Hillsboro water system.
  • Hillsboro is a partner in two other regional water supply systems formed through multi-party intergovernmental agreements. The Water Department serves as the Managing Agency for these two commissions – the Joint Water Commission (JWC), and the Barney Reservoir Joint Ownership Commission (BRJOC) – and for the technical

and advisory committees that support the Commissions’ planning, operations, and decision-making functions.

Water Department Administration

The Water Department is structured into five divisions – Operations, Treatment, Engineering, Water Resources, and Administration – each with a manager reporting to the Director. The Department has 80 full-time employees.

The Water Department’s proposed FY 2019-20 operating budget is $23,000,000, plus a $49,000,000 capital budget, including $38,000,000 to WWSP.

The Water Department also manages the JWC, with a proposed FY 2019-20 operating budget of $9,000,000, and a capital budget of $9,000,000.

The Department has primary responsibility for developing proposed water rates and water system development charges, for recommended adoption by the Utilities Commission.

Water System Operations

The Water Department protects public health by providing retail water distribution service, wholesale water supply service, and regional water supply production.

  1. Retail: The Water Department provides retail service to a combined 26,000 accounts in the local Hillsboro distribution system and a rural retail distribution system.
  2. Wholesale: The Water Department provides wholesale water supply service to two small cities (combined population 14,000) and a rural private water system.
  3. Regional: The Director serves as the General Manager for operations of two regional water supply systems. JWC owns and operates an 85 MGD conventional water treatment plant and the associated transmission pipeline system; JWC provides the water supply for a population of 375,000 in the service areas of the four partner agencies, and to a small city as a wholesale customer. BRJOC owns and operates a dam with storage capacity of 20,000 acre feet.

Long Term Water Supply Expansion

Hillsboro is a partner with a neighboring water district in developing the Willamette Water Supply System, a $1.2 Billion program to develop a new regional water supply source; Hillsboro’s cost share is $450,000,000. The new system includes expansion to 150 MGD capacity of an existing intake and raw water pump station, a new 60 MGD state-of-the-art water treatment plant, two 15 MG terminal storage reservoirs, and more than 30 miles of large diameter transmission pipeline. The City’s partner serves as the Managing Agency for design and delivery of this partnership, but Hillsboro Water Department will operate the intake, raw water facilities, and water treatment plant for the new system. Hillsboro Water Department is actively engaged in the planning, design and permitting for all of the new improvements. The system will provide a seismically resilient, redundant water supply source for Hillsboro. Construction is scheduled to be completed and water deliveries to begin in 2026.

What’s Next?

This year the Water Department will begin to issue in excess of $350 million in revenue-based financing, including municipal revenue bonds and WIFIA financing, to fund the construction of its share of a new regional water supply system.

Hillsboro is in negotiations with US EPA to secure $223,000,000 in long-term financing through its WIFIA program to fund investments in the Willamette Water Supply System.

In September construction will be completed on a $35,000,000 project to expand the JWC water treatment plant capacity by 10 MGD and to upgrade other existing facilities. The project is being delivered under the CM/GC alternative delivery method.

Earlier this year the Utilities Commission adopted updated water rates, including an average increase of 10.5%, and substantial modification in rate design to increase the share of revenue generated by fixed base charges to a target level of 30% for most customer classes. The Commission is preparing to adopt a water master plan update, and work is underway on an update of the water system development charge methodology.


The Ideal Candidate

The Water Director provides leadership and management oversight of a municipal water department that operates at a metropolitan scale from a suburban environment, with responsibility for both local water distribution and regional water supply.

The position of Water Director of the Hillsboro Water Department requires an experienced manager with collaborative leadership skills to continue the evolution of the Water Department as a highly

effective municipal and regional water supply system, and as an Oregon leader in water system management. The ideal candidate will have the

ability to effectively manage a large organization with five divisions that have diverse functional responsibilities, to oversee operations at multiple sites, and to work effectively with partners, both as a manager of partnership entities and as a member entity of partnerships managed by others. The City also places a high priority on public outreach and transparency in decision making.

The Director needs to bring an understanding of the technical, operational, political, and regulatory challenges confronting a water utility. This position requires an understanding of all aspects of municipal infrastructure finance. The Director oversees funding and delivery of a $520,000,000 10-year CIP, requiring strong understanding of debt vehicles capable of meeting the capital funding needs. Since the Water Department operates as an enterprise fund, the Director also needs a strong understanding of water rates and charges and how to maintain affordability for its customers.

The Director needs to be able to relate well with employees throughout the Department, and also to nurture relationships with staff and elected officials at partner agencies and at other local governments in the region. The ability to communicate effectively with multiple audiences, both as a speaker and in writing, is critical. The Department will continue to evolve to improve its performance internally and also to adapt as the expansion of Joint Water Commission facilities and the addition of Willamette Water Supply System demand greater sophistication from the organization. It will be critical that this individual has the ability to think strategically, and to be an effective change manager while implementing the changes to the organization and to the systems that will be needed to achieve those strategic visions.

The successful candidate has a combination of skills and education that enables success in the role of Water Director. A typical way to achieve this is a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least 10 years of experience in senior management of a municipal water utility, or an equivalent combination of education and municipal utility experience with responsibility for management of administration, financial, operations, design, regulatory, or policy affairs.

To Be Considered

Hiring a workforce that reflects the diverse community we serve is essential to delivering exceptional City services and programs. The City of Hillsboro is committed to creating and supporting an inclusive and welcoming environment for all employees to thrive. We value, respect, and empower employees as unique individuals with authentic voices and diverse ideas.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply no later than 5:00 pm Friday, April 19, 2019.

Cover letters expressing your interest in the position and how you would succeed in the role should be addressed to Katie Jensen. Please submit your cover letter and resume via email to katie.jensen@hillsboro-oregon.gov no later than the closing date and time.

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level

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