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Public Works open house showcases essential services

The City of Cold Lake's Public Works Shop was bustling with activity on May 23 as residents gathered for the annual Public Works Open House.  

COLD LAKE - The City of Cold Lake's Public Works Shop was bustling with activity on May 23 as residents gathered for the annual Public Works Open House.  

The event aimed to energize and educate the public on the vital role that public works plays in the community. Attendees enjoyed a barbecue, with all proceeds benefiting the Cold Lake Food Bank. 

Lisa Nash, the Environmental Services Manager at the City of Cold Lake, provided insights into the event and the scope of the Public Works department.  

“Every year we do an annual Public Works Week recognition for the public works crews that work for the city - and it's nationwide... And our goal for the year is advancing the quality of life.” 

Highlighting the various services managed by Public Works, Nash explained, "Our crews do the water - your distributed water, your wastewater, when you flush your toilet or turn on your tap - these crews are producing the water, they're also treating the water once it goes down the line. They're managing all the lines. These crews also do all the waste collection, recycling, compost, they operate the landfill. We also have the roads crew here and they do all the roads, traffic lights, signs, and then we have the parks division. So, they're doing all your arenas, all your beach, all of the marina, all the playgrounds, sports fields, all of that stuff." 

Nash emphasized the importance of recognizing the behind-the-scenes work of the Public Works crews.  

"Everyone goes and turns on your tap and [the water is] there, but these are the people that make it happen," she said. 

The event also showcased current and upcoming projects, including the new wastewater treatment facility and upgrades to Lakeshore Drive.  

Attendees had the chance to see various equipment and learn about the maintenance processes.  

"All the equipment is maintained in there. We've got three mechanics on our crew, so every piece of equipment is done here at the shop, and even the small weed whippers, gas mowers, lawn mowers, everything is part of our crew," Nash noted. 

The interactive displays were a highlight, allowing the public to engage with the equipment and understand the daily operations of the Public Works department.  

Reflecting on the importance of community awareness, Nash concluded, "Sometimes people don't realize what's needed, and also to come to us... If they notice something, let us know, and we can rectify it... the City is quite big... and we do run a small crew, and if we know about it, we'll go and check it out.” 

Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Chantel Downes is a graduate of The King's University, with a passion for writing and storytelling. Originally from Edmonton, she received her degree in English and has a minor in communications.
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