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.

 

Côte Saint-Luc fills 50-100 potholes in one week during blitz

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Pothole

Following the fluctuating temperature over the past two weeks, Côte Saint-Luc  crews have filled 50 potholes in 3 days, including  10 on its side of Côte Saint-Luc Rd.

 

“The milder weather has caused potholes to form and I directed our Public Works Department to prioritize filling them as quickly as possible,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “In particular, our crews have been very quick to fill potholes on our major streets, including the westbound portion Côte Saint-Luc Rd. I’ve received many complaints about the eastbound side, but unfortunately that’s part of the City of Montreal. We’ve asked Montreal to prioritize their part of Côte Saint-Luc Rd.”

 

Pothole repairs done in winter are temporary because cities must use cold mix asphalt. In the spring, potholes are filled with hot mix asphalt, which is a more permanent solution.

 

City employees who are frequently on the road from Public Works, Public Security, and volunteers from vCOP and EMS are on the lookout for potholes in Côte Saint-Luc and report them to the Public Works office. Residents can help by calling the Public Works office at 514-485-6868 or using the SeeClickFix app on a smartphone to notify the city of a pothole.

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 Public Works electric vehicle rolls into service

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CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, mid-November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, mid-November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

The City of Cote Saint-Luc has taken delivery of its first all-electric vehicle. The KIA Soul will be used daily in the Public Works Department for some of its foremen.

So far it sports the CSL logo (as pictured above). Soon it will be striped similar to the CSL fleet, with a little flair to mark the significance of being an EV.
PW is currently charging the vehicle by 110v which can take up to 13 hours to charge, which is fine for overnight. The 240v charger will cut the time in half.
CSL Public Work's new electric vehicle plugges in to a standard 110v outlet for overnight parking. (Photo: Bebe Newman)

CSL Public Work’s new electric vehicle plugged in to a standard 110v outlet for overnight parking. (Photo: Bebe Newman)

The new EV cost the city $35,000 before taxes. Once you deduct the Quebec government rebate of $8,000 the vehicle comes in at $32,000 including all taxes.

As reported on this blog EV Charging Stations are on order for PW and the ACC. As well, next year we will add a station at City Hall.

And, as promised, I will continue to promote EVs for the City of CSL. Special thanks to PW Director Bebe Newman who supports the acquisition of EVs for the city as a sound management decision and an environmentally wise choice.

Blue collar union demands city reinstitute garbage collection

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By Isaac Olson – Free Press
Before the September 21 Côte St. Luc council meeting got under way, blue collar workers were at city hall’s front doors handing out bilingual pamphlets urging people to “challenge the awarding of contracts to private companies by Mayor Anthony Housefather.”

While workers claim it’s a waste of money and it is costing workers their jobs, Housefather argues it actually is cheaper to go through the private company, but that does not mean the city isn’t open to solutions.

About 60 workers from the blue collar union, all sporting hats with the union logo, filled the meeting hall to the point that many were left standing around the back of the room rather than taking front row seats. Many of the union members covered or hid their faces when journalists took out their cameras. Union representative Pierre-Guy Sylvestre and local workers took to the microphone to ask the mayor why the city awarded a contract worth about $750,000 (tax included) to a private company rather than continuing to use city workers.

The union pamphlet states, “The repatriation of work in-house is a priority for the Union of Blue Collar Workers of Montreal and we relentlessly denounce the waste of money by elected representatives in any city or borough.”

However, countered Housefather, the decision to move the garbage collection service to RCI was for no other reason
than to save money.

“We value our relationship with the blue collars,” said Housefather. In 2006, he said, when the city took garbage collection in house, the price of out-sourced garbage collection had shot up “astronomically.”

The council, he said, decided to take it in-house to save money. At the time, he said that meant spending over $1 million to have city workers collect garbage. That price did not include composting. “We wrote the tender to be at exactly the same level as that we were getting from the blues.”

The price difference between RCI and in-house, he explained, is nearly $800,000. The mayor told the blue collar workers that the city would be willing to discuss options and, if the union can come up with a way to match the RCI price, the city will go back to relying on in-house services to collect compost and trash.

“I can’t see how we can get to that number, but I am happy to talk,” said Housefather. “The goal here is to always have a good relationship.”

On September 17, the city issued a full response on its website to a recent full page ad that was published in The Suburban. That ad, paid for by the union, included “several inaccurate and misleading statements,” according to the city’s statement, and “It should be noted that the union’s complaint came more than nine months following the ratification by city council of the contract.”

The statement on the website goes on to explain the numbers in detail. It states, “The cost of the city handling in-house waste collection and organic collection (brown bin) would have been almost $1.336 million in 2015. By contrast, the cost to outsource was about 50 percent less costly at $680,606.84. Given the market change, the decision was an easy one.

“But beyond just saving taxpayer money, Côte St. Luc also tries to be fair with staff. For instance, all the workers who had been working on our waste collection teams were offered new jobs. Some got promotions. Others were transferred to comparable jobs, in addition to being offered training to improve their skills.”

After 38 years on the job Jean-Claude Raby parks Zamboni for the last time

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Jean-Claude Raby has served many roles in Cote Saint-Luc over his 38 year run in the Public Works Department. Starting off in the Samuel Moscovitch Arena and eventually driving the Zamboni ice resurfacer, J-C moved up through the years to serve as a light vehicle operator, a team leader and eventually a foreman.

Jean-Claude started working for the City in 1977, the same year that he married his wife, Celine. He started as an arena attendant and continued on to become the Zamboni operator. After 10 years at the arena and two sons, J-C moved on to a position at Public Works, as a light vehicle operator. During the merger and until the de-merger, J-C became the Team Leader for the Roads division. In 2006 Jean-Claude became a Public Works foreman, handling all things operations at different times for roads, signs, parks, waste and snow removal.

“Jean-Claude has been an invaluable employee, always willing to do his best for the residents and the City,” said Public Works Director Bebe Newman alst week. “He leaves with many memories from growing together with the City over the past few decades and we wish him the best for a wonderful retirement that he’ll share with Celine. After 38 years of service to a City that he respected and cared for, the City wishes Jean-Claude many years ahead filled with great joy and relaxation,” Newman said.

At a BBQ in his honour last week, Jean-Claude said good bye to his Public Works and extended city family, hung up his truck keys for the last time and set off in a new adventure with his wife, two children and seven grandchildren.

Read Mike Cohen’s moving tribute to Jean-Claude here.

I wish Jean-Claude many years of good health and happiness in all the lies ahead. Thank you very much, on behalf of generations of our residents who have benefited from your devotion to our beautiful city.

Côte Saint-Luc adds safety cameras and side-guards on its snow plows, safer for residents, pedestrians

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CSL snow plow side-guard 03

To help improve the safety of pedestrians, the City of Côte Saint-Luc has added side-guards and external cameras on each of its six snow plows.

Each vehicle will have a camera on the passenger side and the rear. This will give the driver improved visibility of pedestrians or obstructions when making right turns or backing up.

“The goal was to significantly improve safety for our residents by giving our snow-plow drivers tools for more visibility, especially on the passenger side when making right turns and in the rear when backing up,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “It significantly reduces blind spots.”

Each camera system includes two video cameras and a 7-inch screen. The side-guards and cameras are only installed on the six city-operated snow plows, which clears snow from approximately 65 percent of Côte Saint-Luc streets. Contractors plow the other city streets and don’t yet have such cameras or side-guards.

CSL snow plow camera monitor inside cab in situ

“The side-guards and the cameras are major improvements in our efforts to make our residents as safe as possible while around heavy equipment deployed to clear the snow,” said Councillor Glenn J. Nashen who has long championed safety initiatives in Côte Saint-Luc and brought up the issue of cameras and side-guards with Council and the Public Works staff. “Cameras improve visibility, reduce blind spots, and make it safer to operate these large vehicles on our suburban streets.”

This entire safety upgrade cost under $4,000 or just $622 per vehicle and went into operation on January 1.

“The cost was low but the safety benefits are high,” said Councillor Dida Berku, the council member responsible for Public Works. “The City of Westmount was a great help to our staff in advising them based on their own recently-installed camera system. The suburbs on the island are constantly sharing best practices and this is a good example of how we learn from each other.”

The City of Westmount installed a similar camera system on its large trucks last November. The two cities are now among the first in Canada with such a camera safety system.

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