Public Works Updates

Spring/Summer 2020 Updates

Our Public Works Department is made up of many moving parts. Keeping roads maintained and safe for residents to travel through our Municipality, ensuring drainage is constantly addressed and improved and providing utilities are just to name a few. Mayor and Council want to provide updates to our residents on a seasonal basis as to the projects that Public Works is working on.

Asphalt Crack Seal Tender and Asphalt Patching Tender – The areas needing work have been identified and counted, with Tenders going out shortly.

Asphalt Road Tender – Some core drilling tests are required which will begin shortly.  Tenders will be going out soon. 

Brushing – Brushing is mainly winter work and was worked on into April. It involves Public Works going out with large rotary mowers on our excavators to knock down and push back large brush/trees. This is typically done to open up a right of way.

Ditching – Ditching is an ongoing process and is required throughout the year.  We have one excavator out doing drainage works.

Drainage – Drainage is one of the RM’s biggest concerns and is an ongoing project.  We work hard to ensure the safety of property owner’s homes and land and take drainage very seriously.  In order to start drainage projects there are many moving parts and we must first obtain a license at a cost, survey, design and indicate any impacts all before starting the work.  Our first priority for addressing drainage issues is focusing on those that threaten properties, which we have been making good progress on these but our list is not finished.  We have a healthy list of those that would be second priority, which involves smaller issues and these are ongoing.  After this it is important to start with inspection of the area and prioritizing.  High priority determines the start which would be a survey of the area. Our survey staff see all the drainage issues so they are best to prioritize, allowing these to be adjusted if needed. Surveys are often drafted in the winter as we want to be able to survey as much as we can in the summer. 

East Selkirk Utility – Inspection of all curbstops and valves have been completed in East Selkirk.

Grand Marais Water System – The system has passed requirements and is potable.

Gravel and Dust Control Program – This began on May 19th, 2020 and Public Works is aware of how dry and dusty it is and our graders have been and will continue to be on the roads.  Our yearly spring/summer process involves preparing roads and gravelling where required, followed by dust control application which is weather dependent.  Dust control application has started where possible. We hope to finish gravelling by end of June and dust control cannot be applied until after the gravel program is done on which may mean early July for some roads.

Illegal Garbage – Unfortunately a handful of people do not follow the rules of disposing of garbage at our Landfill and Transfer stations.  We get a number of calls regarding illegally dumped garbage which requires our Public Works to go out and collect from various locations. 

Lagoons – We will need to discharge where required which involves applicable testing and then discharging. 

Landfill Project – This project started in early May and is mainly to do with leachate, with the idea to limit the leachate as much as possible due to it being costly and environmentally harmful to deal with.  The project includes construction and re-grading drainage to keep clean water separate from impacted water as well as separate from leachate.  This will be done by upgrading the road and ditch construction around the cell and is expected to take until mid-July.  Re-grading has already been done around the shop to provide proper drainage, as well as re-construction of the burn pit area. 

Litter Picking – This is ongoing at our Landfill and Transfer stations.  With various elements, there is constantly litter to be collected around these areas. 

Lockport Utility – Flushing of sewer lines in Lockport has been completed.  Lift station has been cleaned and inspected. 

Pothole Patching – Has begun and will continue as required.

Signage – We receive a number of calls throughout the year from residents that notify us of missing street signs, etc.  This is an ongoing project and we replace these as required. 

Safety Procedures – All Public Works staff have completed their annual safety orientation.  Some staff members completed specific safety related training depending on duties, such as WMHIS and ladder safety.  Training for transport safety was also completed at the end of May.  Safety committee meetings and monthly building inspections have been completed to date.