By J.W. Schnarr
Old electrical crossings represent a significant danger to work crews, and the Municipal District of Taber would like local residents to call them in to improve their mapping.
During their regular meeting on July 28, council heard from Jeremy Wickson, director of public works. He said his department has been looking over crossing agreements and work is ongoing as far as trying to identify where many electrical lines may have been buried in the past.
“We’re asking people to notify us of some crossing that they’ve done in the past,” said Reeve Brian Brewin. “We’d like to map (them) for safety reasons.”
Municipal Administrator Derrick Krizsan said due to several recent near misses when crews have been digging, the M.D. “would not assume anything at this point” in regard to the location of these buried lines.
Brewin said there has been a lot of work done which the M.D. does not know about, and they represent a danger to work crews.
“To be honest with you, I have one you probably don’t know about, right across from my house,” he said. “It was put in 20 years ago. We were asked to put it in a metal pipe, and that was all.”
“We’d ask (local residents) just to email any electrical crossings,” said Brewin. “Going into the future, it’s something that’s important.”
The M.D. keeps a record of utility lines for its own use in development, but also as a service they provide to organizations such as 1-Call, which provides underground utility information to anyone planning a development.
After reporting the existence of a line, M.D. employees will come out and sweep the area to pin down the exact location. That information will then be added to M.D. plans, and signage can be added to let people know about the buried line.
“There are a lot of crossings out there,” Wickson admitted.
“There are a lot of pivots,” Brewin replied. “That’s the business we’re in.”
Krizsan said some lines date back 30 years, and while the M.D. may have a record of service to those properties, there may not be a record of the crossings.
He also said there have been instances of work done in the past which was not registered at all.
For more information on utility crossings, or to report an unregistered crossing, please contact Jeremy Wickson, director of public works, at the M.D. main office by phone at 403-223-3541, or by email at email@example.com.