Public Works is a large component of West Bountiful CityMar 02, 2021 11:39AM ● By Julie Thompson
If you think that West Bountiful’s public works department consists of just a guy in a white pick-up who is often standing in a water or mud puddle, you might be surprised by the size of the department and the scope of their work.
According to Steve Maughan, public works director, the department consists of six full-time employees, three of whom live in the city. Two employees are assigned specifically to the water department, two oversee the city parks, trails, and buildings, with one employee devoted to the streets. While each has a specific assignment, at any given time, this cohesive group shifts their focus to help in a crisis or with an ongoing project. The majority of emergent calls have to do with water issues, though heavy snowfall requires their attention at all hours of the day or night.
The biggest project last year was the construction on 800 North. Elementary school children who previously found themselves at times having to walk in the bike lane with nothing but a thin line of white paint separating them from the heavy traffic, now have beautiful and safe sidewalks under their feet, allowing them to enjoy their stroll home with friends. The visual changes which include curb, gutter, sidewalk, and new asphalt are only part of the functional improvements associated with that project. One mile of new 12-inch diameter water line was installed, along with a new 18-inch storm drain.
The city now has several new projects scheduled for 2021 which will surely keep the public works department busy. Pickle ball courts adjacent to the city building, a new city well on 400 North, as well as repaving portions of Porter Lane are just a few of the projects planned this year.
Five things you might not know about West Bountiful Public Works:
• They “exercise” 1,500 water valves each year.
• 350 Fire hydrants are flushed and exercised annually.
• Two water tanks; one that holds 1 million gallons and a second that holds 1.5 million gallons are maintained by the department.
• The six public works employees actually like each other!
• Two members of the crew, who shall remain nameless, tried to wrestle a live water line that was spraying water at 100 PSI after it was hit by a contractor. There was not a spot on these men that was not covered in mud by the time they were done. (Such a shame that there doesn’t seem to be any video or photographic evidence of the incident.)
When asked what residents of the city can do to make the department’s life easier, Maughan had the following requests:
• Snowstorms: Don’t park on the street during a snowstorm regardless of the time of day. Move trash cans away from the curb as soon as possible after collection. Their goal is to plow roads “gutter to gutter.” Shoveling or blowing snow into the street after it has been plowed can create icy and dangerous conditions for the snowplows as well as others who travel our roads.
• Gutters: Taking a few minutes to clean the gutters in front of your home has the potential to save the city time AND money. Many hours are spent cleaning out storm drain boxes and pipes that are full of leaves and sticks that have washed through the grates.
Come rain or shine, high winds or floods, day or night, Maughan and his department are committed to keeping West Bountiful a safe and attractive place to live and visit.