The City of Merritt’s public works department is looking for some grant money to help fund some of its capital projects in this fiscal year.

Merritt city council was given a look into the public works department on Jan. 14 at the city’s first budget meeting of 2015, where department manager Shawn Boven discussed his department’s capital budget proposals.

Replacing water and sewer lines along with the roads above them is expected to continue this year, with the focus on completing roadwork on Langstaff Place and Coldwater Avenue.

“We’re going to finish what we started last year, but we’re attempting to do Coldwater [Avenue] right from Main Street to Voght Street,” Boven said.

With the help of grant money from the New Building Canada Fund for small communities, this project can be seen through to fruition, but in its absence, only the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Coldwater Avenue will be replaced in the spring.

The funding would cover half of the $3 million price tag to complete the roadwork, Boven said.

In 2014 the public works department completed a portion of water and sewer line replacements on Douglas Street and Coutlee Avenue.

This year, water and sewer lines beneath Langstaff Place and Clapperton Avenue will have these renovations.

“A lot of our infrastructure went in in the early ’60s, all at once within a three or four year period. It’s all going to wear out at the same time, so what we do is we replace a little bit each year,” Boven said.

In its proposed budget for 2015, the public works department is looking to add a UV disinfection process to its water treatment arsenal.

The light kills bacteria and viruses in the water when it passes through. The city plans to fund this initiative through a grant, which could pay for the entire project.

This city is also planning to repave a section of Voght Street between Nicola Avenue and Merritt Avenue.

Houston Street between Nicola and Priest avenues will also undergo asphalt layer replacement this year as it has been damaged by truck traffic, Boven said.

The public works department will not be expanding service levels in 2015 nor will it request new personnel.

The department will operate with 25 positions as it did last year and in 2013.

However, they are still in search of a roads foreman.

Boven said the department is at the point where it can’t expand services without adding another employee.

The city retains 14 full-time employees in the public works department.

“We get a lot done with very little,” Boven said.

The next budget meeting takes place on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.