Mayor in the Morning Archives

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Welcome to the Mayor in the Morning Archives.

We will add your questions, along with their answers, as we receive them. Thank you for your participation!

Can we get curbside recycling, or improve our system to make it more appealing to residents?
The City of Swift Current’s recycling program is currently under review with all options being explored. There are a number of factors that need to be considered as part of this review, including: 

• The current contracts for the operation of the Recycle Centre...
We currently have two contracts for the operation of the Recycle Centre that do not expire until the end of 2016. These contracts require us to continue with the operation of the Recycle Centre at least until the end of 2016. We will use the time to consider our options including the possibility of curbside collection of recyclable materials.

• The provincial Multi Materials Recycling Program...
With the release of the provincial Multi Materials Recycling Program effective January 1, 2016, the City of Swift Current will have access to funding to assist with operating our recycling program.  This will also allow us to consider all options while attempting to keep the recycling service affordable for everyone.

• The cost of providing curbside collection...
The City of Swift Current is working diligently to ensure that ensure that any program that is developed is affordable for all citizens and does not place an unfair burden on anyone.  We will be investigating, negotiating and costing all options to meet this objective.

We have made numerous improvements at the Recycle Centre to make the service more user friendly and will continue to look to further improvements while considering the future of this operation.

This review will be continuing throughout 2016 with a decision planned for late in the year.

 

Are there any plans to install street lights along Memorial Drive?
Memorial Drive is scheduled for an upgrade in 2016 through an agreement with the Ministry of Highways. The lighting plan for this area is currently being reviewed. It is likely that lighting of the intersections along Memorial Drive will be completed in conjunction with this project and the remainder of the lighting will be installed in phases in future years.  

 

Can you tell me what plans are being considered or are possible to support emergency access to the North side for South side residents during the overpass repair? 
We will be developing a traffic accommodation plan once the contract is tendered and awarded. We will be working on all traffic accommodation plans as part of the construction logistics with the successful contractor, emergency services and the CPR.  Any traffic accommodation plan must consider all requirements of vehicle movement, including emergency services and regular traffic.


Are there plans to pave 11th Ave SW at any point in time?
No, there are no current plans to pave 11th Ave SW.  11th Ave SW requires more than just paving to bring it up to a collector road status. It would likely require widening and due to wet conditions, reinforcement to function properly. 11th Ave SW is not currently part of our collector road system and any future upgrade would likely be dependent on further growth in the Southwest area to warrant the upgrade.

 

Would like to see a 4-Way Stop at Highway 4 and South Railway…
The City of Swift Current utilizes the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada as a basis for the warrant process of traffic control such as Yield Signs, Stop Signs (2-way and 4-Way), Traffic Signals and Pavement Markings.

The following are some of the factors considered during a traffic control device warrant study:

• Vehicular and pedestrian traffic volumes
• Number of approaches and their angles
• Vehicular speed
• Available sight distance
• Collision data

There are many misconceptions regarding the purpose of traffic control signs. Traffic control signs are not to be used as speed control devices or to control priority traffic over minor traffic. When the City of Swift Current assesses an intersection for traffic control signs… 

• Traffic volumes and speeds are analyzed through the use of our traffic camera recording devices;
• SGI is contacted to collect accident data;
• All collected information is compared against the TAC Standards to determine the proper course of action.  

If required, the City of Swift Current utilizes a traffic consultant to review the data and make recommendations.

 

With the proposed plan for the 2nd Avenue Bypass for construction next year, what was the reasoning behind the sidewalk being eliminated on the west side, and kept on the east side, despite there being an exit that must be crossed at the pedestrian’s own discretion, yielding to traffic? Is this a finalized plan?
The design of the reconstruction of the 2nd Avenue Overpass requires one sidewalk to be eliminated in order to meet current safety standards. The reason for choosing to maintain the East sidewalk was based on the fact that there are major communication cables installed within that sidewalk. 

This design does not require pedestrians to cross the street as the sidewalk would be continued around the North Railway Street exit, and access to the North would be through the pedestrian underpass.  

Based on public feedback, however, we have asked our consulting engineer to design and estimate the cost of maintaining the West sidewalk and relocating the communication cables to that side.  

When this design and cost estimate is complete, we will evaluate the cost difference and make a final decision.

 

I’m wondering why we spend money to add fluoride to our water... Calgary has fluoride-free water... Can we implement fluoride-free water here in Swift Current?
Fluoride is added to drinking water for the prevention of dental decay. The City of Swift Current started adding fluoride in 1954. 

Depending on the time of year, our water supply has naturally-occurring fluoride to about one half of the recommended value. The City of Swift Current tops the fluoride value up to the recommended value based on Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment standards.

Fluoride cannot be discontinued without plebiscite from the public. Data from 2010 indicates that 36% of Saskatchewan communities fluorinate their water, compared to 75% in Alberta and Manitoba.  

The main communities in Saskatchewan fluorinating their water are Humboldt, Melfort, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Swift Current and Weyburn. The City of Calgary fluorinated from 1957 to 2011. There is now a movement to get fluoride back in Calgary’s water, because some areas of Calgary have seen a 40% increase in tooth decay.

Hi, I would like to ask about the possibility of having some of the "monitor your speed" digital signs posted on Chaplin? Chaplin is a busy street but it's still a residential street with children playing and people walking. 
The City of Swift Current uses temporary speed radar signs to remind drivers that they may be travelling too fast. To maximize effectiveness of speed radar signs, they should be used on a temporary basis (permanent signs tend to lessen the visual impact) at locations where they are most needed such as…

• Locations where there are reduced posted speed limits (school zones, playground zones, construction zones, etc.)
• Locations near highly-used pedestrian crossings
• Locations that are primarily residential areas where there is a long stretch of uninterrupted flow of traffic.  

These signs are great tools to remind drivers that their foot is a bit too heavy. The City of Swift Current deploys these temporary speed radar signs when areas are identified by the public as a concern. As an added bonus, the temporary speed radar signs do record the speeds of passing vehicles allowing us to determine if there really is a speeding problem or just a perception of one. 

We encourage you to contact our Infrastructure & Operations Division at 306-778-2748 to discuss your traffic concern.


Why are we paying for recycling when the bins are being taken to the dump for disposal? I took my recycling to the depot yesterday and when I left I found myself behind one of the trucks that had just picked up a bin. I decided to follow him, he went right to the dump. So why are we paying for a recycle fee as well as a garbage fee? As a tax payer and a city resident that pays a monthly utility fee, I was not exactly happy seeing the truck at the dump. 
We require all recycled materials collected at the Recycle Centre to be weighed for two reasons…
 
(1) The Provincial Multi Materials Recycling Program requires that municipalities provide the weights of all recycled materials collected in order to participate in the program, and 
 
(2) We compensate Triways for their handling of our recycled materials based on weight.  
 
Triways does not have a scale at their Recycle Centre on South Railway due to expense, so they use the City’s scale at the East Landfill to weigh the trucks, and the material is then transported to Triways’ site for baling and shipment for recycling. The transport for weighing is at Triways’ cost since it is their decision not to install a scale.
 
Triways does not dump recycled materials at the Landfill.

 

Why is the Bylaw on the uses of engine retarder breaks not enforced? If it is enforced how many charges have been laid in the past year?
This particular bylaw is enforced by Highway Traffic Patrol. They have been beefing up their monitoring around the City, especially along Memorial Drive/Hwy 4.