Papt t’u7 kwes qweznem
(Always there to use)
Councillor Helena Edmonds admits she never really thought about community infrastructure before taking on the Public Works portfolio when she was elected to council last year. Over the next week, in celebration of the beginning of Public Works Week, Helena will share her observations and insights into the great work this department does to keep the community safe and secure.
Every day that you wake up and can wash, flush your toilet, drink clean water or cook, be thankful that our public works crew is there to make it possible. Each day, at every station, our water quality is tested to make sure it is safe to drink. The level is constantly checked to see if the pipes are pumping enough for our increasing uses.
Lil’wat is fortunate to have dedicated workers who always prioritize community health and safety first. Their ability to manage the aging infrastructure of the nation is nothing short of miraculous. Many others connect to the department in different ways, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, engineering and more contractors who contribute knowledge and expertise.
Maintenance: Taking care of what we have
With the age of most of our buildings in the nation, the systems that exist to cover them present a challenge. We have new buildings along with century old buildings on parts of a system that dates back to 1960s. Materials and their operations change. Our public works crew is always learning, adapting and adjusting to new and more effective systems and products.
A variety of machinery is needed by this department and, for the most part, it’s maintained to a high standard by our own crew. This allows the department to do more with a very limited budget. The public works also maintains a fleet that includes pickup trucks, vans, tractors, and large utility trucks. Ensuring that machinery and vehicles are in good working order makes it possible to maintain the more than 120 kilometres of road in the territory; 40 kilometres of paved road along with more than 80 kilometres of gravel roads.
Tomorrow we’ll look at how the nation’s water system.