Frequently asked Public Works questions

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by Councillor John Barclay

In the past four years, as Council Liaison to Public Works, I’ve learned a great deal about what the Public Works Department does, how it does it and how it’s paid for. The kinds and levels of services provided to residents and businesses are guided by Municipal Policies and often have provincial legislation that imposes “minimum maintenance standards”, while other services have standards spelled out in detailed contracts with providers. It’s good to know why things are done the way they are. I’ve chosen, as examples, some of the questions I receive frequently from residents and businesses.

When are you going to pave my road?:

The priority list of road maintenance and re-surfacing is a living document that is revised and updated on an ongoing basis. It forms part of the Municipality’s long term financial planning as the process takes at least three years to be completed. The factors that determine whether a gravel road needs rebuilding or surface treatment are obviously it’s condition but also the amount of traffic that travels it on a daily basis, the number of residents or businesses located along it and finally budget considerations. Before a road at the top of the list is hard surfaced, the gravel base needs rebuilding. Hard surfacing of the road must wait at least a year after the rebuild and then another year for a slurry seal to be applied.

My garbage and recycling weren’t picked up; what do I do?:

While you need to have your garbage and recycling to the curb by 7am on collection day, our contractor has until 7pm to collect it. If it hasn’t been picked up on your scheduled collection day, either leave it out or collect it and put it back the next day before 7am. Check the municipal website for delay information first. Contact the contractor to inform them of your address and the fact that it was not collected and is still out for collection. Give the contractor or Cheryl Fequet, Public Works Clerk a call at 613-258-9569 extension 133 ,or via email at cfequet@northgrenville.on.ca to advise them of your address, that it was not collected and is still out for collection.

My water bill has suddenly spiked; what’s going on?

If your water bill is suddenly higher than normal there are a number of things you can do. Dye tabs are available at the Municipal Centre to check for silent leaks in toilets. You can contact Public Works Water Wastewater Clerk, Krysta Johnston at 613-258-9569 extension 159 or via email at kjohnston@northgrenville.on.ca to discuss and assist in identifying common leaks as well as help identify leaks by reading your water meter. Information and payment arrangements are available to those who are experiencing financial difficulties. You should also note that rain barrels (and composters) are available at cost at the Municipal Centre front counter.

I’m concerned about traffic and/or drainage in my neighbourhood; what can I do?

The first thing to do is to complete a simple traffic or drainage concern form; both are available online directly from a link on the homepage. Once the one-page form is completed and received, it is considered “formally submitted” and an assessment process is started to decide what type of action (if any) is needed to address your concern.

All assessments are based on municipal policies and in the case of traffic concerns, they are based on Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) guidelines as well. Drainage assessments may involve a review of relevant files, conservation authority resources and images from Google Earth. Each type of traffic concern (speed, intersections, pedestrians, signage) has its own specific assessment process. 

Data collection is often followed by a site visit for visual inspection and installation of recording devices in the case of traffic concerns. This leads to an analysis of all the data, compiled into a draft report which is then distributed for review by relevant staff including, in some cases, conservation authorities and/or the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. Once reviewed and finalized, the report is distributed to the original resident and copied to Council. Any recommended actions in the report are then implemented as time and labour permit. If the solutions are not funded within the current budget, they are included in the next budget deliberations.

I hope this gives you some insight on how and why things are done in the Public Works Department. As always, feel free to call or text me at 613-322-8132, or via email at jbarclay@northgrenville.on.ca.  

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