Prompted by exploding populations, increased emphasis on an industrial culture, and the use of motorized vehicles for transportation, the Consolidated Highway Law was enacted by the New York Legislature in 1908. It's passage led to one of the most significant changes in local government services of the century- the establishment of their county-based Department of Highways and the creation of the Office of County Superintendent!
To lead one of the most powerful departments in county government, the Warren County Board of Supervisor appointed Warrensburg native Mr. Bertram E. Murray as the first Superintendent of Highways on April 7, 1909. A licensed civil engineer and surveyor, Bert Murray was recognized by colleagues statewide as an authority in his field and capably led the department until his untimely death in 1939. He was succeeded by long-term county highway employee and engineer Herrick Osborne. A true public servant, "Hap" Osborne devoted more than 40 years to the Warren County Department of Highways. He retired in May 1969 at the age of 70.
In 1971, the department was established as the Department of Public Works under the leadership of Superintendent Frederick Austin who served from 1969 to 1997. From 1997 to 2006 the Department of Public Works was modernized under the leadership of Superintendent William Remington. It is, today, an expansive department of over 100 employees with KEVIN J. HAJOS, P.E serving as the current Warren County Superintendent of Public Works.
Since its establishment in 1909, the department has been headquartered in the Warren County Town of Warrensburg. Initially located in a small storefront within the village, the original Administrative Office and Storehouse were constructed during the tenture of Bert Murray and continue to be used to this day. Original glass plate negatives, stored in the county Records Storage Center help to document early highway projects including the construction of these buildings. Recent additions to the department facilities include construction of a new storehouse c.1993, located on the west side of Rt. 9, just a short distance from the main office.
Current responsibilities include overseeing all county highway and bridge construction, maintenance of all road machinery and snow removal as well as managing the following eight divisions: Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, Civil Defense & Natural Disaster, Sewer Administration, Parks & Recreation, Recycling, Highway & Traffic, Engineering, and Buildings and Grounds.
History of the Warren County Dept. Of Public Works provided by:
Pam Vogel and Tom Lynch, Warren County Records Storage Center