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Town of Okotoks celebrates National Public Works Week

National Public Works week posterTown Council is proud to proclaim May 16-22 as 2021 National Public Works Week, a time to celebrate and learn about the amazing work of our public works professionals in Okotoks. This year’s theme, “Stronger Together,” challenges residents to think about the role public works plays in making Okotoks a great place to live and maintaining our community’s strength. 

Join the Town virtually to learn about Okotoks’ public works teams and what they do for the community. The Town will share online resources, fun facts and virtual activities below throughout the week to show the impact these essential workers have; you can also watch the Town’s social media channels and participate with the hashtag #NPWWOkotoks.

Town transportation services, facilities maintenance, parks services, water services and waste services could not be provided without the dedicated efforts of public works professionals. They are responsible for Town roadways, parks, pathways, water supply, water treatment, solid waste systems, public buildings, and other structures and facilities essential for the Town.  

Friday, May 21 - Facilities Maintenance Team

Okotoks’ Facilities Maintenance Team keeps all Town buildings up and running. While things aren’t open right now due to COVID, the team is still working hard behind the scenes to make sure things are properly cleaned, sanitized and running smoothly for when re-opening happens. 

A project highlight for Facilities Maintenance is preparing for the opening of the Okotoks Arts & Learning Campus this fall! 

Get involved! It’s #ISpyFriday! Head to social media to see a photo of one of Okotoks’ facilities in action, and guess where it is in the comments! See the answer below*

Did you know? 

  • Artificial ice was added to the Okotoks Arena in 1958 which greatly extended the hockey and curling season as well as provided reliable ice whenever chinook winds blew in.
  • From 1958 to 1966, the jail cells were relocated to the Okotoks town office - at first in a back room and then in the basement. The reason was that the prisoners were too foul-mouthed, smelly and disruptive to the constable and his family living in the police barracks.

*ISpyFriday’s image shows a photo of the solar panels on roof of the Ops Fleet and Eco Centre buildings!

Thursday, May 20 - Parks Services Team

The Town’s Parks Services Team keeps Okotoks beautiful. They take care of all Town parks, pathways, playgrounds, sports fields and natural areas (including the river valley) to make sure they are clean, safe and always user-friendly. The Parks team also maintains grass, trees, shrubs and flowers throughout town, keeping our public spaces, and even things like roadway medians, picturesque and thriving! 
Rich’s Playground at Sheep River Park is one of the most beloved playgrounds in Okotoks - check out the Rich’s Playground upgrade which will see nature based elements added in 2022!

Thank you for keeping our parks and pathways clean! Your pride in our community helps the Parks team make sure Okotoks stays beautiful and safe. 

Get involved! Since it’s #ThrowbackThursday, we want you to show us a picture of your favorite past moments enjoying Okotoks’ parks or pathways! Head to social media, tag  @TownOfOkotoks and use the hashtags #NPWW and #NPWWOkotoks to share your memories in the Town’s parks. 

Did you know? 

  • The first public park established in Okotoks was the beautiful area along the south side of the river, where the Lions Campground and Sheep River Park are now located.
  • Many parks in Okotoks are named after individuals or families. Beatrice Wyndham Park in the Air Ranch subdivision is named after the first woman in Okotoks to be elected to public office. She was elected to the Okotoks School Board in 1919.

Wednesday, May 19 - Water Services Team

Okotoks’ Water Services Team ensures the Town is provided with high quality, safe and clean tap water by operating and maintaining the Town’s water and wastewater systems. 

While the Town does not actively monitor your individual daily water consumption, you can see your usage through the Okotoks water meter portal. A toilet that leaks non-stop for just three days can add an extra $60 to your utility bill - set up high water consumption and vacation alerts to help catch an undetected leak!

Get involved! CONTEST ALERT: Sign up for your online water meter portal by June 14th for a chance to win a $100 gift card to any Okotoks business of your choice! 

It’s also #StrongerTogether Wednesday – show us the people, activities, or things that are making our community stronger by tagging  @TownOfOkotoks and using the hashtags #NPWW and #NPWWOkotoks! The Town has programs to help you recognize the kindness that is connecting Okotoks: sign up to Gift It Forward, nominate someone you know for Kindness Currency or become a Community Champion to make your neighbourhood more resilient!!

Did you know? 

  • Wetlands are naturally able to clean water before it ends up in the Sheep River, removing harmful substances like phosphorus and nitrogen. Check out the natural assets map to find out how many wetlands we have in Okotoks!
  • Up to 30 per cent of summer residential water is utilized on lawns and gardens. Xeriscaping can play a significant role in reducing water consumption, saving you money! The Town offers rebates for businesses and residents who undertake a xeriscaping project – apply now
  • It wasn’t until 1952 that water and sewer services arrived in Okotoks. Prior to that, residences and businesses had wells and outhouses in their backyards. The Town employed a sanitary engineer who made his weekly night-time trip up and down the back lanes in his horse-drawn, two-wheeled metal cart called the honey wagon. He’d empty pails in the summer or cardboard boxes in the winter from the outhouses.

Tuesday, May 18 - Transportation Team

The Town’s Transportation Team maintains over 190 kms of open roadways. They keep our streets, roadways, traffic signs and sidewalks clean and in good condition for our residents and visitors to enjoy, and ensure the Town’s traffic signs and storm water collection and treatment systems are in good repair. 
Right now, their robust street sweeping program is underway – they’re in Zone 3 today - and they’re getting ready to refresh painted street and crosswalk lines.

Get involved! It’s #ThankfulTuesday, a great time to show the Town’s public works professionals you’re thankful for everything they do! Post a thank you sign in your yard, or share a video or picture online thanking public works employees for making our community a safe place to live, work, and play. Don’t forget to tag @TownOfOkotoks and use the hashtags #NPWW and #NPWWOkotoks! 

Did you know? 

  • The first streets to be paved in Okotoks were Centre Avenue and Elizabeth Street - that's because these two streets were part of Highway 2A that came through Okotoks.
  • In the early days of Okotoks, street repairs were all done by hand. Employees like Lloyd Birkett, John Gould and Nels Munkholm would use a team of horses, wagon, brushes, pick and shovel to clean the streets and sidewalks. What a relief when a grader was added in the 1940s.

Monday, May 17 - Waste Services Team

The Waste Services Team oversees the community’s waste management initiatives, provides weekly waste pickup and operates a comprehensive recycling program. 

The more items we can divert from black garbage carts the better it is for our environment, as less garbage means we can extend the life of our landfills. Use the waste app to properly sort your waste and utilize all three carts effectively. The waste app has a game you can play that can teach you how to properly sort your waste. 

Get involved! Kick off National Public Works Week with some fun! Print out the 2021 Stronger Together colouring page, get creative and have fun colouring! Don’t forget to send us a picture of your art on social media by tagging @TownOfOkotoks and using the hashtags #NPWW and #NPWWOkotoks 

Did you know? 

  • The first recycling facility opened in Okotoks in 1991 in a small building on South Railway Street operated by the Foothills Recycling Society. Its success led the Town to take over its operation and establish a larger facility along North Railway Street in 1993.
  • There are over 500 electronic items that you can take to the Eco Centre for recycling! Use the waste app to know what items are accepted. 
  • Methane is many times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet. By removing more compostable waste from your garbage you are helping to reduce climate change - use the green cart to dispose your yard and food waste. Green organic food waste bins are also currently available at the Eco Centre