While most of us enjoyed some time off during the holidays, the business of running the City of Kamloops went on, smoothly and often unnoticed.
There is public skating every day of the week at one or more City arenas. The crews are there from early in the morning to late at night making sure the ice is in great shape for everyone to enjoy: from the two-year-old on skates for the first time to the old-timer out playing hockey with his buddies.
Parks and recreation crews also keep the Tournament Capital Centre and other pools in top form. As well, the parks are open and accessible, even in winter, with many people enjoying the cleared walkways along Rivers Trail.
When the snow flies, the plows are running until all of the roads are cleared, starting from arterial roads and bus routes, followed by collector and local roads. Sidewalks on major roads and bus stops are also cleared. I think I'm in the majority when I say I'm always happy to wake up after a heavy snowfall and know the roads are clear.
Every week, you can count on a garbage truck coming by to pick up the garbage and recycling. The crews from solid waste are at work by 6 a.m. checking equipment before they hit the road.
Picking up garbage and recycling is only one of many steps. Once the garbage and recycling is picked up, it is sent to Mission Flats. There, onsite staff ensures the garbage is properly covered to reduce "garbage in the wind" and minimize rodents.
Crews also monitor to ensure there is no leaching of contaminants into the watershed.
City staff is also responsible for monitoring and capturing methane gas from the landfill to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases. Recycling is sold to offset some of the costs.
Each 12-hour shift, the 12 RCMP officers in patrol cars are the visible side of policing, but there are many other RCMP working for the City of Kamloops as well. There are officers specifically assigned to monitor prolific offenders in the community: this program has had huge paybacks in lowering crime.
Drug squads and homicide investigators also work behind the scenes. There are also officers specifically assigned to liaise with schools, to respond to domestic violence, and work with Interior Health in serving people with mental health issues.
The City's fire department is open 24/7. As well as responding to fires, crews also respond to vehicle accidents and calls for first responders (along with B.C. Ambulance).
The Kamloops Fire Department also is proactive in reducing the risk of fires by distributing free smoke alarms to seniors and university students. When there is a fire, the fire investigation crew is dispatched.
There are crews on 24/7 at the City's water and wastewater plants as well, ensuring we all have safe drinking water and our waste water is disposed of in a environmentally responsible way. Bylaws officers pick up and care for stray dogs, as well as respond to numerous noise complaints.
These are just some of the City staff who worked over the holidays and throughout the year to ensure things go smoothly for the rest of us. Thanks to all of them.
Happy New Year!
Nancy Bepple is a Kamloops City councillor.
© Kamloops Daily News