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A need to clean

It now appears as if spring has finally emerged from behind the clouds and snowbanks.

It now appears as if spring has finally emerged from behind the clouds and snowbanks.

With its arrival comes the opportunity to make an appeal to the City governors in the form of a suggestion that they look very seriously into the purchase of one more street sweeping unit. And we'll gladly provide our rationale.

Estevan has taken great strides in the past few years with regards to beautification projects. We remind readers of such projects as the mural placement program, the opening of new parks, re-equipping of new and older playparks, new tree plantings every year, revival of the green spaces along some civic boulevards,and floral arrangements placed strategically along other main boulevards where nothing existed before. Some were done by City employees, others by volunteers.

But these secondary beautification efforts all go for naught when our local thoroughfares are continually decked with mud, dust and debris while renegade weeds pop up along broken sidewalks, curbs and pavement edges and remain unmolested throughout the entire summer.

Estevan revels in the fact that it is a hard-driving, fast-paced oil and coal community. This the place where things happen not daily, but every hour, 24 hours a day.

This is the place where light duty trucks, semi-trailer units and heavy haulers roll through the streets by the hundreds, every day. More often than not, they are encased in mud or dirt and dust because they are working units that spend a good deal of their time in dirty conditions and they bring the fruits of their labour back into the city on a regular basis. That means the muddy debris most often ends up being deposited on our roads and in our parking lots.

The mighty CP Railroad also sends a dozen or more units through our city every day and the debris from those cars and locomotives also spews out onto our streets.

Environmentalists have also pointed out quite graphically how Estevan sits in a natural geographic bowl which means we automatically collect agricultural drift debris, among other things.

So that leads us to the suggestion that while our Pure Energy and other beautification teams are out there attempting to do the right things with daisies, hedges and coloured gravel their work will be totally lost if the City of Estevan is unable to keep up with a basic housekeeping schedule. That basic service includes the need to keep our streets relatively clean. With the amount of heavy duty, dirty traffic we experience on our main drags, that requires the presence of a street sweeper at the very least, once every two days on the main thoroughfares and at least once a week on the less travelled routes. If that isn't done the daisies are done in the dust as is our reputation as a city that is moving forward.

The deployment of one street sweeper with a retired back-up unit used on special occasions or for parts, is incapable of keeping our streets cleaned, even if it was operating for 12 hours a day, five days a week from mid-April to mid-October.

With a new additional miles of paved roads to tend to, plus the need to get rid of the grime that accumulates every day on our main roads, we rest our case for the obvious.

With an additional $400,000 in our community coffers, we recommend that council looks seriously at the purchase of another street sweeper and some heavy usage schedules for both of them to enable us to move about without choking on dust.

The need to remove weeds from the green and gravelled boulevards is another subject for another day.

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