City of Durango Profile


The City of Durango, incorporated in 1881, is located in southwest Colorado in the area known as the Four Corners, where the states of Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico converge. As the county seat for La Plata County, Durango is a regional hub for commerce. It is also home to Fort Lewis College, a four-year state college with approximately 4,000 students. The City has a population of 19,413 residents and encompasses 17.01 square miles. Durango is surrounded by two million acres of the San Juan National Forest. Public lands occupy over 41% of La Plata County’s total acreage.


The City is a home rule city, organized under provisions of the Colorado Constitution. The City Charter, first adopted in 1912, provides for the council-manager form of local government. Policymaking and legislative authority is vested in a governing council consisting of five members elected at large on a non-partisan basis to staggered four-year terms. The City Council is responsible, among other things, for passing ordinances, adopting the budget, appointing advisory and commission members, and hiring the city manager, city attorney and municipal judge. The city manager is responsible for carrying out the policies and ordinances of the City Council, for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the city, and for appointing the department directors and other staff members.


The City provides a full range of services to its residents, including general government, public safety, streets and highways, culture and recreation, transportation, sustainability, community development, public works and public utilities. The city’s recreation programs and facilities are utilized heavily by residents of La Plata County and we continue to be the largest provider of these services within the county. The City’s utilities include water treatment, wastewater treatment, solid waste disposal and recycling. The City also operates a transportation services enterprise, including metered spaces and several parking lots, and provides public transportation within the city limits.