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Council creates temporary ice rental policy

Town Council business for Jan. 25 included progress on the amended zoning by-law, discussed at several meetings. It's going through due process with the province.
Tundra Oil & Gas Place in Virden, Man. Council meetings have been held here recently for distancing measures; it's also home to the the MJHL Virden Oil Capitals.

At Tuesday evening’s virtual meeting, Town of Virden Council received a brief monthly policing report from Sgt. Scott Fefchak. He stated that the holiday season and the month of December in general were quiet, which he attributed in part to the below normal temperatures. “Our numbers at the end of last year, both annually and for the month of December, were down, which is good,” he said.  In terms of staffing, Fefchak noted that one Constable, one Corporal and the Staff Sgt. position remain vacant at the Westman Detachment. One current member is transferring to Russell, and a new cadet is en route from the training academy in Regina.  Fefchak explained that the recent recruiting drive for guards to work at the Virden office received a lot of interest, and the required security clearances for the new hires are now in progress. There were no problems or issues with the Freedom Convoy which passed through Virden on the Trans-Canada Highway earlier in the day. 

Zoning by-law amended

Council granted first reading to the Town’s amended Zoning By-Law, which will now be sent on to the Province of Manitoba for review. Prior to the motion being passed, Coun. Travis Penner asked Development Officer Cory Nixon to clarify the seven-foot restriction on the width of residential garage doors. Nixon responded that this only applies if there is no direct access to a public road, such as through the resident’s driveway. “It’s not really being used for vehicles…it’s more for lawn mowers or off-road vehicle storage,” he said.

Emergency Management Information Sessions

All councillors were approved to take part in the Emergency Management Information Sessions being held virtually on Jan. 27 and Feb. 1.

Nuisance bird control

Albert Cosens, Rodney Stuart, Maurice Kernel and Adam Gonty each received authorization from Council to discharge firearms within Town limits to control crows and other birds which are deemed a nuisance and/or a health hazard. 

VESC Letter of Support

A Letter of Support will be provided to the Virden Employment Skills Centre to accompany reports sent to the Province of Manitoba, which provides the bulk of its operational funding on an annual basis.    

Business licences cancelled

Council agreed to the cancellation of eight business licenses held by companies that have either ceased operations or no longer conduct business within the Town of Virden.   

TOGP ice time

Coun. Whitney Baker reported that the Town received correspondence from four user groups requesting that Council consider forgiving the cost of ice time at Tundra Oil & Gas Place that was booked but later cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. She reported that in more than one instance, the client made the cancellation outside of the normal 14-day notice requirement. Council agreed to the request, and will waive the rental fees for ice time booked but not used due to the pandemic during the period Jan. 4 to 22, 2022 inclusive. A temporary policy has also been created for the remainder of the current season which provides for a 24-hour cancellation period under these circumstances.      

Building Sustainable Communities Grants

The Town will apply to the provincial Building Sustainable Communities Fund for a grant of up to $70,000 towards the resurfacing of the tennis courts and repairs to the lawn bowling building in Victoria Park. A second application will be submitted for up to $60,000 towards the construction of a washroom/change room facility at the recreation grounds.

Programs and Events Manager

Council approved the salary scale and job description for a new administrative position on the Town’s staff, the Programs and Events Manager (formerly known as the Community Events Manager). 

Fire Chief hired

Coun. Tara Cowan reported that a new Chief has been hired for the Wallace District Fire Department, who will begin work on Feb. 7.