New electric utility vehicle for Cote Saint-Luc

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Polaris electric vehicle makes demo debut at CSL Public Works in November 2016

Cote Saint-Luc will be obtaining a grounds and turf crossover electric vehicle to add to our growing electric fleet. This small pick up can enter park areas on the grass, over walkways and throughout the parks without causing damage. It provides easier maneuverability than a large pick-up when carrying products such as grass, earth, equipment through small areas. The parks team can travel throughout the parks quietly and efficiently.

The EV pick-up seats two and comes with a trailer attachment. It can be used during the four seasons. The life span for this vehicle is predicted to be at least 10 years.

Public Works Director Bebe Newman and her team are very keen in supporting EV acquisitions and in finding sustainable solutions throughout her operations.

 

7 mature maple trees planted along Kellert Ave

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Seven mature maple trees sprung up like magic along Kellert Ave in District 6 thanks to the creativity of Public Works Director Bebe Newman.

“We are in the midst of saving many mature trees from our City Hall parking lot renovations by transplanting these trees throughout the city,” said Newman. “We started on Kellert. Drive by to see the difference. You will be quite pleased.”

28 have already been transplanted throughout the City. “Our intention is to install a small plaque identifying these trees as those transplanted from our City Hall parking lot,” Newman said.
Transplanted trees are now in these locations:
  • 4 trees on Freud
  • 6 maples on Kellert
  • 3 pines on Kellert
  • 2 pines in Ruth Kovac Park – Shalom side
  • 5 maples on Cavendish – some replacing those that were felled in front of the townhouses, the residents were very pleased
In addition, we have also enlarged our tree canopy this week by planting 51 trees in front of residents’ homes.
Councillor Ruth Kovac said, “Thank you to Bebe and the entire horticulture team! You are making a difference. The new residents will be delighted to have these.”
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was extra pleased that the doomed trees in the soon-to-be-renovated parking lot were saved and instantly changed the landscape on several CSL streets. “We can be proud that our staff go the extra mile in creating and beautifying our community that brings us so much joy and happiness,” Mayor Brownstein said.

Thank you to Director Newman and to her dynamic team of the tree-loving Public Works Department. You have gone above and beyond and our residents are grateful for your dynamism and creativity and for prioritizing the environment be it for tree planting, flowers, park maintenance, our urban forest or for beginning our electric fleet and public charging stations.

See the video of the planting here.

CSL crews clear snow almost as fast as it falls

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Cote Saint-Luc's newest snow plow blazing a clear path on this sunny Wednesday afternoon

Cote Saint-Luc’s newest snow plow and sand trailer blazing a clear path on this sunny Wednesday afternoon

 

“After the freezing rain from last night we ended up with light rain, cloudy skies and warmer weather this morning,” said the woman behind Cote Saint-Luc’s major snow clearing operation. “The side streets are covered with a thick layer of accumulated snow and ice but graders were called in at 3am this morning to start breaking up and clearing the catch basins on all the arterial streets. As of early this morning, all main streets were beautifully scraped and cleaned for residents to travel safely to work and to school,” Bebe Newman said. “We appreciate the collaboration from our contractors who together with our night shift, worked very hard last night to produce crazy clean streets this morning.”
Bebe Newman, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director

Bebe Newman, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director

Bebe Newman is the director of CSL Public Works. She is a tireless leader. Creative to the core, she is always looking for ways to implement innovative, novel solutions to everyday problems. Customer service is in her veins. She knows what riles up residents as well as how to provide superior services to put a smile on the face of a frustrated winter motorist or slip-sliding pedestrian.
Public Works crews clear the catch basin of ice and snow so water can drain away

Public Works crews clear the catch basin of ice and snow so water can drain away

Newman routinely updates City Council and directors with the very latest forecasts. Her weather monitoring reports are precisely pinpointed for the CSL area.
“From around 6pm tonight until 6am tomorrow, we are looking at cloudy skies with a potential for lightening – crazy! Temperatures will range from -4 to about -14 tomorrow morning,”Newman advised city leaders this icy afternoon. “From 6am tomorrow until 6pm tomorrow night, it looks like more clouds and maybe more lightening – still crazy! Temperatures will range all day around the -14 mark. We’re looking at even colder temperatures after that, up to -20. I’m thinking about becoming a meteorologist!,” Newman added.
This grader scrapes away the ice the accumulated on the last 24 hours

This grader scrapes away the ice the accumulated on the last 24 hours

We’re lucky to have such a dedicated and passionate city director along with her loyal crews from Public Works and city contractors. They keep our streets and sidewalks, parking lots and pathways clear of snow and ice to the best of their abilities. And by all accounts, they do an excellent job.
Merci à tous nos équipages et entrepreneurs. En raison de votre travail acharné et de votre dévouement, notre ville est l’une des mieux entretenues dans le déneigement de toute la région.
The weather outside need not be frightful as CSL snow plows clear the road

The weather outside need not be frightful as CSL snow plows clear the road

What do you think about Cote Saint-Luc’s snow clearing operations? If you’re one of our very satisfied residents, please share your views and appreciation for our team.

CSL looks to next electric vehicles

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Polaris electric vehicle makes demo debut at CSL Public Works in November 2016

Polaris electric vehicle makes demo debut at CSL Public Works in November 2016

 

“Designed to travel along narrow pathways and tread upon soft terrain like park areas, Public Works is trying out Polaris Gem electric vehicle for one week to see if it meets our needs,” said Public Works director Bebe Newman. “I requested that Polaris lend us the Gem with the trailer and they complied.”
“We built the box on the back of the pickup to increase the potential to carry more volume. Together with the trailer, we are confident that the horticulture team will be able to use the vehicle effectively throughout their tasks,” Newman said. This vehicle can also be given to our parks clean up crew.
This vehicle can be charged overnight (6 hours to charge from empty) on 110 volts, a standard electrical outlet and will travel 60 km on a full charge. With a maximum speed of 45 km/h it is perfectly suited for municipal use.
As the City Councillor promoting EVs in our municipal fleet I will look forward to moving this resolution in the next few months.
Meanwhile, we await installation of EV charging stations at Public Works and at the Aquatic and Community Centre in the near future. The ACC station will be connected to the Electric Circuit at a cost of $1 per hour.
polaris_gem_2016_pw

vCOP begins its second decade of serving CSL

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Last night Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) marked 10 years of service by handing out lapel pins to its long serving members. I am very proud of what we’ve built here in CSL – a large and strong corps of dedicated volunteers ready to serve our community at all hours of day or night. We are the only volunteer group of this sort in Quebec.
The men and women of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol

The men and women of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol

Back in 2005 I had the idea to import this concept from the Broward Sheriff’s Office as seen on my Florida vacation. I marched into the police office and spent an hour with the officer in charge of the volunteers and left with a few pounds of documents and loads of plans for CSL. Once we reconstituted CSL after the forced mergers, and with the elections behind me, I got busy building this service, in consultation with our Public Safety department and local police commander.
Ten years later and 82 volunteers strong we now enter our second decade.
At last night’s bi-monthly patrol meeting two patrollers were recognized for their outstanding service. Allan Greenberg was singled out as the Patroller of the Month for June and the miraculous Ron Yarin for July.
vCOP Ron Yarin receives the Patroller of the Month by Supervisor Mitchell Herf

vCOP Ron Yarin receives the Patroller of the Month by Supervisor Mitchell Herf

 

The guest speaker was Beatrice Newman, Director of Public Works. Affectionately known as Bebe, she described her love for the city and how the majority of her family of 30 Newmans still reside in CSL.
Bebe Newman
Bebe has been with the city administration for nine years, moving up from administrative services to manager of operations and customer service in PW, to assistant director and most recently director of PW. Having taken on responsibility to manage garbage collection, Bebe outsourced the service in 2015, saving over $1 Million for taxpayers. She has participated at conferences in Canada and the US and won international public works awards three years in a row.
PW receives over 1200 calls each month. “They’re all complaints,” Bebe commiserated. “It would be nice to receive a call saying, ‘Hey PW, you guys have done a great job.’ No matter how many calls come in, Bebe’s staff are  geared toward solving problems, big and small, for the residents of CSL.
Lots of discussion centred around the problem of the Emerald Ash Borer and the number of trees dying and requiring to be felled. “The city is now offering to allow residents to cut down a dead tree and to leave it on the front yard. The city will cut it up and transport it away,” she said. “A permit is required to cut down a tree, but there is no cost.” Bebe continued, “If your tree has no leaves, in the summer, it’s dead.” The city has a revegitation program and it is important to replace felled trees and to maintain the tree canopy.
Bebe explained that there is currently a problem with Sand Wasps in playgrounds. “They’re harmless and hover around the sand and feed off bugs. They won’t sting,” Bebe said, “but they’re frightening.” Signs have been posted in problematic parks to allay concerns of residents. “They’ll all be dead by end of August.”
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Sand Wasps have taken over some play areas in CSL this summer

 

If you have overflowing recycling in your blue bin call PW before noon on Monday, Bebe told the crowd, and the recycling contractor will send a foreman to pick it up.

New rolling blue bins introduced this spring in CSL

“You can bring recyclables to the PW yard every weekday. We can recycle everything. Even styrofoam, computers, #6 plastics, anything,” Bebe explained. There are even battery disposal bins in City Hall, ACC and library.
“Public Works really appreciates the good work done by vCOP, ” Bebe concluded. “So much so that to mark your 10th anniversary we will plant a tree in your honour,” she announced to great applaud.
Cote Saint-Luc is lucky to have such a dedicated and affable director in Bebe Newman.
The Fall Recruitment Drive was announced. The vCOP Orientation Meeting takes place October 25 at 7pm in City Hall auditorium.
Morris Stelcner spoke about the vCOP Vacation Spot Check Program which has 13 trained members inspecting the properties of residents vacationing for 30 days or more. Information and application forms are available on cotesaintluc.org.
Thanks again to all of our tremendous volunteers and wishing them all happy patrols and a safe summer. Please give them a friendly wave as the make their way down your street keeping an eye out for your protection.
vCOP logo

Mrs. Smiley’s class visits City Hall

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Mrs. Ellen Smiley and Councillor Glenn J. Nashen with JPPS Grade 5 students and participating moms

Mrs. Smiley’s Grade 5 class from Jewish Peretz and Peoples Schools visited Cote Saint-Luc City Hall as part of this year’s studies on municipal government and city services.

I was doubly pleased to officially welcome the class to City Hall and to introduce them to the civic system in CSL in my capacity as the City Councillor for District 6, responsible for Public Safety, and also as Nicole’s dad, one of the Grade 5 students.  

I began with a history of our city dating back to the 1600s and showed archival photos from the 1800s and early 1900s.  We fast-forwarded to 2010 and discussed all the modern services that we offer to our residents highlighting those of special interest to kids, such as sports facilities, parks and playgrounds, the library and of course, emergency services.

City Manager and Chief Librarian Tanya Abramovitch spoke about all the moms and dads and other people who work in all the city services.  She then gave the class a tour of the Children’s Library, touted as one of the best in all of Quebec.  Many kids from the class had never seen this library before and were excited by the interactive toys and the huge selection of books, movies, music and the kid-friendly decor.

The class learned all about public safety with Director Jordy Reichson.  Jordy spoke about CSL’s unique all-volunteer EMS first responder service.  Check out their lipdub just below this post for a cool musical intro to EMS.  He discussed all the services you can reach when you call 911, but only if it’s a real emergency!

Bebe Newman, Public Works manager of Administration and Customer Services gave a presentation on all the aspects of her department that work behind the scenes, and out in plain view to keep the city functioning well in terms of facilities, grounds, roads, lights and so much more.

Alvin Fishman from Parks and Recreation gave a talk about sports teams, the new Aquatic and Community Centre slated to open next year, the arena and CSL’s Fun Card.

 

The class also had a rare visit to the Mayor’s private office where they took pictures looking quite mayoral.  They sat at the Council table, speaking into the microphones, holding the gavel and snapping shots in front of the flags.

This was an exciting opportunity for JPPS grade 5 to learn, up close and personal, how local government functions and how services are provided.

On the way back to school we got to see some of the snow clearing crews actively engaged in battling the snowbanks!

 

Thanks to Regine Banon, CSL Communications Manager, for setting up the visit.  I wish all of Mrs. Smiley’s students good luck as they continue in their learning about cities and I invite them to join CSL’s newest innovation for kids, the Junior Council, which will be launched in 2011.  Thanks for visiting, boys and girls of Grade 5!