On top of the usual snow removal and other winter work Challis city workers have in store this month, Mayor Mike Barrett said two other projects will give them plenty to do as the new year begins.

“As long as we keep up, a typical winter shouldn’t be too tough,” Barrett said.

One project slated to begin soon is the replacement of signs in Challis. Last November, the city received about $8,000 worth of newer, more reflective, street, yield and stop signs. Barrett said it will take four to six weeks to install the new signs. Starting with ones near the schools, Barrett said city workers will then replace damaged stop and yield signs around Challis and finally move onto street signs.

Not all the signs in town will be replaced, according to Barrett, just the ones that are in most need. Winter weather could complicate replacements, Barrett said. Some signs need new posts as well, which can be difficult to replace when the ground is cold and hard.

Depending on how much snow Challis gets in the next few weeks, and if situations arise that draw the two-man city maintenance crew away from the sign project, Barrett said they might not have as much time to dedicate to the new signs as they hoped.

Such was the case in November, when Barrett said the signs would be installed by Thanksgiving. Other projects pulled city workers away, such as helping tie in a sewer line to the new Challis fire hall and installing sewer and water lines for the city park’s new bathroom. The project to replace the city park bathroom, which has been delayed several times, should be finished next week, Barrett said. A prefabricated bathroom is to be dropped off in Challis next week. Barrett said once it arrives, it’ll take about a day to install the structure, run plumbing and power to it, test the connections and perform a final walkthrough.

“It should be fairly easy,” he said.

Barrett commented on the irony of the quick installation. Of all the aspects to replace the park’s bathroom and bring it in line with Americans with Disabilities Act standards, shipping the pre-fab has been the most difficult.

Originally planning on having the project finished by August, interruptions in the supply chain caused by the coronavirus pushed the end date to mid-December. Thinking the project would be finished by the end of the year at that point, construction workers hired by the city completed the ground work and put in a path from the bathroom to a handicap parking spot last November.

However, virus-caused interruptions persisted and the delivery of the pre-fab was pushed to this month.

“At least it’s coming pre-built,” the mayor said.