Town council upset over fibre installation damage

May 9, 2023, 4:02 pm
Kevin Weedmark

This photo shows rebar and piping sticking out of the ground at Dr. Davidson Park. The holes were filled with gravel and covered with plywood.

Moosomin town council is upset about damage around Moosomin made by crews installing fibre optic cable for SaskTel and Access Cable.

In some cases, holes for the fibre optic cables have been drilled through sewer lines, with the town only finding out about the damage once a problem arises.

The town has reached out to SaskTel about the damage and is planning to reach out to Access Cable as well.

Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson says it’s upsetting because the damage is already done, and some of the mess on the ground will not be cleaned up until the end of summer, while the town is in the Communities in Bloom Competition this summer.

“There’s nothing we can do about it. The problem is that it doesn’t look like it’s going to be cleaned up until near the end of August for SaskTel anyway,” he says.

“We talked to SaskTel and it’s contracted out. They say that it will get cleaned up but now we’re looking near the end of August.”

One place that received significant damage was Dr. Davidson Park on the west side of Moosomin.

“Pansy Taylor and Alice Abrahamson were upset about Doc Davidson Park because they just had it all nice and now it’s torn up on two sides. Then down on the east side of town, I don’t know the exact address, there was a hole and all they did was slap plywood over top of it.

“It’s the same thing at Davidson Park. They have chunks of plywood, there are stakes sticking up and all sorts of stuff. And all they’ve done at this point is just pour sand in the holes they dug, so I don’t know how we’re going to make out for the Communities in Bloom contest.”

Tomlinson says SaskTel told the town they don’t need permission to install fibre optic cable.

“We said that we should have known what was going on and they said, ‘We don’t even really need permission. We’re doing what we need to do and that’s it.’ ”

Tomlinson says the town did not become aware of some of the issues caused by installing fibre until problems arose, such as an issue with the sewer line at the Co-op Home Centre. The town was unaware the SaskTel crew had drilled right through the sewer line until it caused problems.

“They breached a sewer line at the Co-op (Home Centre) and then there’s some other stuff that we are worried about,” he said. “One of the ones that we are worried about is the storm sewers, but we won’t really know until we get some water through it. We won’t know if there’s a problem until we get some rainfall.”

Tomlinson says he thinks that SaskTel and Access may cover the cost of repairs, but the town is still trying to determine all of the areas that have been damaged.

“I’m sure there will be some more places for sure because they’re boring through everything and they have no way of knowing—they just bore through, shove a pipe through with it and that’s it. It’s not good.

“To get it back to where it was—that’s part of the problem. It’s a mess right now. I’m not going to say that one is worse than the other, but they’re just everywhere. The one that tore up Davidson Park, I don’t know if that was necessary.”

Tomlinson says this problem is not new when it comes to companies doing fibre installs.

“RF Now came into town a few years ago and they did it. We had trouble with them but they did clean it up and did stuff not too bad, but it looks like these guys are way worse than what RF Now ever did,” he says.

“There’s one other place on the alley going down where McKay’s office used to be. They came up that alley there and they cut the pavement into little blocks about six inches square and they piled it up by the building. They weren’t far enough out onto The street so they just cut a great big triangle right out of the street and just piled it up along McKay’s old building.

“That’s terrible and you’ll never get the pavement back to the way it was and if they think that they can put those little squares back in—it’s no good. It just doesn’t work.”

This photo shows rebar and piping sticking out of the ground at Dr. Davidson Park. The holes were filled with gravel and covered with plywood.<br />