Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Recognizing Outstanding City Services

The City of Calgary aims to provide creative and innovative services to all Calgarians. Without tooting our own horn too loud, we'd like to highlight a few examples while recognizing the Calgary Fire Department, Transportation, Waste & Recycling and The Mayor's Office.

Slave Lake fire response
Last spring, fire trucks and a 16-foot trailer filled with a lot of hope and even more heart were sent to an area then described as a disaster zone: Slave Lake. Canada Task Force 2, Public Safety Communications, the Calgary Fire Department, and the Calgary Emergency Management Agency volunteered countless hours to Slave Lake’s community fire department that had been overwhelmed by wildfire. Calgary’s personnel worked around the clock, and even those off-duty volunteered their time to fight the blaze. 

As well, a private fundraiser was held to collect goods for those in need. The residents of Slave Lake were able to return home just two weeks later thanks to the fast response and selfless efforts of Calgary’s emergency responders.

Glenmore Trail and 37 Street interchange
For years the traffic lights at the Glenmore Trail and 37 Street interchange struck fear into the hearts of commuters. Touted as one of the longest lights in Calgary, it was necessary to pack a light snack if you caught the red light. Council approved the change and a promise was made that within a year, drivers would experience free flowing traffic.

The gridlock-causing lights were replaced with Calgary’s first roundabout interchange. Prefabricated parts were used for the bridge, which allowed it to be finished under budget and ahead of schedule. The potential impact of the SW ring road was taken into account by making the overpass temporary and its pieces reusable. The project’s resourcefulness received the Award of Excellence for Project Management from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta.

Waste & Recycling Black Cart Program (80% satisfaction rate) 
Waste and Recycling Services is taking out the trash – that is your old, outdated garbage cans.

It was time take it to the streets with the new Automated Black Cart Collection Program. Even though the checklist read like a novel, time and extreme dedication was necessary to bring this revolutionary collection method to Calgarians. The result is a system that’s more efficient and tremendously cost- effective. It’s even safer for communities and employees alike with safety incidents at work reduced by over 70 per cent. And Calgarian’s agree: these sleek black carts are keeping the streets cleaner than ever before. Garbage collection is coming up smelling like roses.

Food trucks program pilot
The escargot of France, the pizza of Italy, and... the perogies of Marda Loop? It’s true – with the launch of Calgary’s food truck program pilot, our city was put on the international culinary map.

The Mayor’s Office assembled a collaborative team of stakeholders as varied as food truck cuisine to approve the program. The resulting event was nothing short of record breaking. Featured on the Food Network’s Eat Street, the trucks garnered nationwide attention. With their own Twitter accounts and website, Calgarians are alerted to where they can be found on any particular day. Other Canadian cities are looking to follow Calgary’s model to set up food truck programs of their own. This initiative has helped redefine Calgary as one of Canada’s most vibrant- and delicious – cities.

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