Last weeks fiasco regarding the puckered up line painting in Barriere has not only caused great embarrassment for those of us who are proud of our little town, but it has also raised a lot of questions regarding how this incompetence could have been allowed to happen.
For those of us who thought the lines were being done be a machine mounted on a vehicle, you are wrong. The lines were marked by a machine controlled by a person walking behind it. Sounds something like putting lines on a baseball field – but then, lines on a ball field are poker straight.
We also understand that most of this work was done at night, and there were no flag persons to guide traffic safely around the fellow painting the lines. Just someone in a vehicle following who would wave out the window to call you past. What happened to safe practices on job sites?
The dog’s hind leg work painted throughout our streets by this company can leave only one question. How can this happen?
Why did this crew keep on working? Why did they not stop after 50 feet or so to see how they were doing and realize they had a problem?
Why did they paint solid lines in front of driveways and entrances to community services such as the medical centre, the cop shop, and the Yellowhead Pioneer Residence?
Yes, we can blame an incompetent crew, or a company that screwed up big time. But what about right here at home.
Did the municipality err when it created a budget of $9,500 for line painting, or was the mistake made when they accepted the lowest bid for the job being $8,500? Were the references by the company provided scrutinized and checked out – or is this the wrong place to lay blame?
Who on district staff was delegated to oversee the project, or was anyone overseeing it?
Did any district representatives take the time to check on the work being done before it was completed?
This seems like a reasonable requirement to be checking out the contractor when he’s doing the job that you are paying good money for.
If district staff had checked, we might only have 50 yards of crooked and off-centre line work, not kilometers of the stuff – because the lines were amiss from the start.
And then when the proverbial ‘you know what hit the fan’, where was damage control?
When a local citizen stopped to speak to the painters they were quite bluntly told to “—- off” by the crew. Is that acceptable?
So now we have the contractor back in the community trying to clean up the mess. How is that going?
Last time we checked the blacking out and repainting was still a long way from perfect. You can still see the old faded yellow lines straight as an arrow up the centre of the road, while the newly painted line is not even close.
Perhaps our next project should be to paint bright yellow smiley faces in the centre of all intersections.