A public hearing to consider a conditional use application formed part of the regular Town of Virden Council meeting Tuesday evening at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.
Kelsey Gerrand, a local agent with Sutton-Harrison Realty, plans to acquire the former Lawson Consulting and Surveying building at 211 Nelson St. W., which is currently listed for sale. She intends to use the main floor office for her real estate business and rent out the second-floor suite. Council granted the application, which stipulates that she obtain an occupancy permit and arrange for one off-street parking space for the residential occupancy, as required under the Town’s zoning by-law. No other concerns or objections were received.
AMM LOBBY LETTER
The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) has provided a letter to its membership which calls on the Trudeau government to cover the entire cost of the back pay, retroactive to 2017, that is owed to the RCMP as a result of union negotiations. Municipalities with RCMP contracts, including the Town of Virden, had no representation at the table when the contract was arrived at. Chief Administrative Officer Rhonda Stewart reported that the Town has budgeted for this cost, however no details were provided regarding the financial impact locally. The dollar amount at stake will depend on the number of police members under each municipal contract. Council decided to send the letter to both provincial and federal elected officials, including Brandon-Souris MP Larry Maguire, Riding Mountain MLA Greg Nesbitt and Hon. Cameron Friesen, Manitoba Justice Minister and Attorney General.
SKATE PARK NEARING COMPLETION
Chief Administrative Officer Rhonda Stewart updated Council regarding the progress of Virden’s new skate park, currently being constructed at the corner of Lyons Street and Fifth Avenue South. The prime contractor, Beaver Concrete, has now completed their portion of the project. Profile Paving of Brandon is scheduled to do the asphalt paving this week, and the landscaping of the remainder of the property is to follow. As of the meeting date, the park remains closed to the public to allow for the concrete and sealant to cure.
The Town will be represented at the Prairie Mountain Health Annual General Meeting, which will be held virtually on Oct. 13.
DOLLARS FOR ENFORCEMENT
Municipal Relations Minister Derek Johnson has advised the Town that its application for funding under the provincial Municipal Enforcement Support Program has been successful. The money will help offset the cost of the staffing necessary to conduct proof of vaccination screening at the Town Office and Tundra Oil & Gas Place.
One or more councillors will take part in an Association of Manitoba Municipalities webinar entitled Under the Umbrella: How to Weather a Media Storm on either Oct.8 or 15 at a cost of $75 per participant.
Mayor Murray Wright has received a reply to a letter he sent to the province earlier this year outlining local concerns with Bill 64, the Education Modernization Act. He has been advised that the government intends to withdraw the legislation as it is currently written.
Deputy Mayor Tina Williams will represent the Town of Virden at the 2021 Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Sustainable Communities Conference, which is being held virtually from October 19 to 21. As the Town is a member of FCM, the cost will be $250 per person.
WATER QUALITY NOTICE RESCINDED
With the new well in the Assiniboine Valley now in operation, the Water Quality Notice issued by Manitoba Health regarding elevated arsenic levels in the drinking water has now been rescinded. “After all these years, we’ve got it,” said Mayor Murray Wright. “That will be good news for a lot of people.”
NEW BOOST COMMITTEE MEMBER
Council passed a motion appointing Amanda Hagan, proprietor of Shari-Lyn Fashions and SLF Menswear, to the Virden Boost Committee.
STREET PAVING COMPLETE
Council was advised that the contractor, Zenith Paving of Brandon, has completed the street reconstruction and paving work on 8th Avenue and Wellington Street. Town staff will be working on the restoration of the boulevards in the near future.