City Needs To Boost Utility Works

Prince George, BC, Canada / CKPG News
City Needs To Boost Utility Works

The City has recently undergone a benchmarking exercise to assess its utilities, along involved 42 communities across Canada. In a report to Council, it was noted the exercise “revealed that the required maintenance activities have not received the appropriate level of attention.” The Utilities Division says one explanation for that may be the “large volume of underground construction by the Utilities Division in 2015 and 2016.”
“It’s part of a bigger picture. We need to spend money on actual replacement of lines as well,” explains Wil Wedel, Manager of Utilities. “We look at the history of how often we do repairs and then that will go into information that will determine whether we want to spend money on that piece of it or whether we can continue to maintain it (the line).”
The City says another part of that deficit can be attributed to crews spending more and more time patching up broken sewer and water mains.
The City has identified the means by which it can make up the difference, such as increasing staff to the Utilities Division.
“We do need look at hiring of qualified staff in order to run and maintain our system. And those people are not always easy to find. There are skills sets that we’re looking for are not something you can pull off the shelf.”
The Department is facing succession challenges with retiring employees.

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