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Ward 14 - Peter Demong

December 2023 Newsletter

Hello Ward 14!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Seasons Greetings to you no matter what you celebrate. It is a wonderful time of year. It is a time to appreciate a full belly and a warm home, but also a time to recognize and help those who might not.

In this column we will explore the topics of water outages, frozen pipes, and indoor drain care. There will be information on important emergency locations and services for cold weather. Last, but not least, you will read about Calgary’s new LRVs and short-term rental study.

Take steps to help protect your household pipes from freezing!

Every winter some Calgarians experience frozen water pipes which can cause water outages. The City’s Frozen Pipes Prevention Program works proactively with homes considered at higher risk due to factors such as location, depth and configuration of water pipes and history of freezing.

Recently, the City noticed an increase in frozen pipes in homes that are typically at a lower risk. Taking some of the steps below could have prevented household pipes from freezing.

  1. Keep your thermostat at a minimum of 15°C, even if you’re away from home.
  2. Eliminate any cold drafts in unheated areas where water supply lines are located. This can include basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and under bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
  3. Repair broken windows, check doors and insulate areas that allow cold exterior air to enter.
  4. Insulate your hot and cold water pipes located in cold areas.
  5. Open interior doors and cabinets in cold areas to allow heat from the house to warm unprotected pipes.
  6. Turn off, disconnect, and drain the water line to outside faucets, garden hoses, pools, or decorative water features.
  7. If your hot water tank is in a maintenance room outside of your home, make sure the area is adequately heated.
  8. Regularly run water in your pipes through everyday use.

You can visit calgary.ca/frozenpipes to learn more, including actions you can take if you suspect you have frozen pipes.

Water Outages

We know you rely on the City to provide reliable access to clean and safe water. When outages happen, the City works to notify you and restore service as quickly as possible.

Under normal circumstances, water main breaks are repaired, and water is back on within 48 hours. Here is what you should do if you think you are experiencing an outage.

CHECK your front door – If a water outage happened overnight City crews may have left a notice.

CONSULT calgary.ca/wateroutages – Water main breaks and repair plans are listed by community.

CALL 311 - To report an outage if your water is off and you have not been notified.

Breaks are prioritized based on the risk of property damage, impact to critical facilities like hospitals or schools and the number of customers out of water. The time it takes to fix a break varies due to several factors including:

  • how quickly the break can be located.
  • the size of the break
  • current weather conditions
  • digging in frozen ground
  • frost depth

For extended outages we will provide residential customers with a temporary water source. The most common is a water wagon - a portable tank of drinking water that provides emergency supply to you and your neighbours. It is placed in a central location to provide customer access to water during longer outages. For shorter outages, and to support you while water wagons are on their way, we recommend keeping a small emergency supply of water on hand.

You can visit calgary.ca/wateroutages to learn more.

This holiday season don’t let cooking fat, oil and grease go down the drain.

When cleaning after holiday gatherings, remember no amount of fats, oil or grease should go down your drain. This includes turkey drippings, gravies, and food scraps. It’s all compostable food waste, so scrape it into the green bin instead.

City sewers collect wastewater from thousands of kitchens in your neighbourhood, so even small amounts of fat, grease and oil can add up and clog pipes. They cling to the inside of pipes and cause nasty sewer back-ups.

You can take simple steps to keep your drains healthy.

  1. Wipe cooking equipment and scrape dishes before washing. Use a spatula or reuse a paper towel and toss it in the green cart too.
  2. Cool larger amounts of grease in a container or bowl until it solidifies, then scrape or wipe it into your green bin.
  3. Scrape small amounts of dairy, like expired sour cream and yogurt, into your green bin. Only put in what can be absorbed by the contents of your green bin (fuller green bins can absorb more liquids than emptier ones).
  4. Use a kitchen strainer to help prevent food residue from going down the drain.

Remember, hot water and soap might appear to melt the grease and wash it down the drain, but sewer pipes in the ground are cold, so eventually fats, oil and grease will cool and harden on the walls of the pipe.

To learn more, visit calgary.ca/protectyourpipes.

Stay Warm: Online Map Shows Calgary’s Cold Weather Emergency Locations and Services

Weather in December can be unpredictable. In the event of extreme cold weather, there are services around the city to support Calgarians experiencing homelessness. The Cold Weather Emergency Supports online map shows the locations and services offered at each service station, including overnight shelters, daytime services, and warming stations. You can visit the interactive map at https://maps.calgary.ca/ColdWeatherEmergencySupport to find them.

To view more City of Calgary maps, please visit the Map Gallery at www.maps.calgary.ca

A new train is coming to Calgary!

The Urbos 100 is Calgary’s first-ever low-floor Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) and the first of its kind in Canada. In 2021, after a robust procurement process, the City placed an order with Spanish train manufacturer, CAF, to design, produce and deliver 28 new Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) for the new Green Line Project.

The new Green Line LRVs are significantly different from the current LRVs used on the Red and Blue Lines. These low-floor vehicles require a platform height of only 330mm, compared to the current platforms with a height of 979mm. This design significantly improves accessibility while reducing the cost of the overall station structure. Low-floor LRV technology is becoming the choice for new light rail transit systems in North America, making it a big step for Calgary’s transit network.

After two years in the design process, the customized design for Calgary recently achieved a significant milestone. The Final Design Review was submitted in September 2023, allowing the procurement and manufacturing phases to commence in early 2024. Following manufacturing, the LRV will be subjected to 12 months of rigorous performance, functionality, safety, and cold-climate testing that will take place both in Spain and Calgary.

For more information visit calgary.ca/GreenLineLRV.

Calgary's Short-Term Rental Study

The City of Calgary and the University of Calgary (UCalgary) researchers are launching the first phase of a two-part public engagement on short-term rentals (STRs). This initiative is one component of a multi-year research collaboration between The City of Calgary and UCalgary aimed at developing an evidence-based policy framework for STRs adaptable to market conditions.

From Oct. 19 to Dec. 31, 2023, Calgarians are encouraged to complete an online survey to share insights about how and why they participate in the STR market, how STRs impact communities and what they see as current and future concerns.

Administration and UCalgary are expected to deliver a final report and recommendations to Council in December 2024. Participation in this study will provide important information and insight to the UCalgary research team regarding the dynamics and nuances of Calgary’s short-term rental market, its impacts, its challenges and potential.

Have your say and join the University of Calgary and The City of Calgary in shaping the future of short-term rentals in Calgary. Share your thoughts at engage.calgary.ca/STR.

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Feel free to contact me any time. The best way to contact me is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14 or calling (403) 268-1653.

Sincerely,

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

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