The City of Cold Lake’s Public Works department took the top provincial prize for its celebration of National Public Works Week in 2021.
The Alberta Public Works Association (APWA) presented the award to the City of Cold Lake in a virtual ceremony held last week.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many of us do business but, when it comes to public works, you can’t fix a water main or a sewer line over a video call,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “All civic infrastructure requires constant maintenance and upkeep to keep everything going in the right direction, and so we think it’s important to celebrate the job that our Public Works department does. Our staff are out there regardless of the pandemic, the time of day, or what the weather is doing, to ensure critical infrastructure is functioning.”
City staff pivoted to ensure that the 2021 celebration of National Public Works Week could still take place despite challenges posed by health restrictions. Activities commenced in the months leading up to National Public Works Week with schools and organizations painting plow blades and designing transit shelter ads. Residents were also invited to participate in a colouring contest and the naming of the City’s fleet of street sweepers. Activities then moved online for the week with a different challenge each day, encouraging residents to express thanks, take note of public works staff out in the community, and build something out of recycled items. Residents were also encouraged to participate in a Community Clean Up and to donate to a food drive.
This is the fourth time the City of Cold Lake has won the APWA’s top provincial honour for its celebration of National Public Works Week. The award acknowledges and recognizes municipalities from across Alberta who have made efforts to recognize Public Works Week within their communities, and raise community awareness and engagement. Public Works Week is an opportunity to educate and inform residents about the crucial role that public works plays in the quality of a community’s life. It also promotes public works as a career choice for the work force of the future, and recognizes those who currently serve in these crucial public roles.
National awards for the 2021 celebrations are expected to be announced later this year.
“Our staff are passionate about their jobs and their community, and their passion is on full display when Public Works Week comes around,” Copeland said. “It’s a perfect chance to both let our residents know about the hard work that goes into running a community that we don’t all necessarily get to see, and to thank the staff for their dedication at the same time. The honour goes to them for the work they do and the effort that goes into National Public Works week each year, and we thank the APWA for the recognition.”