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Council in quandary over Kola lagoon

RM of Wallace-Woodworth council meeting, Nov. 14, 2023

In a process that began nearly a decade ago, the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth has been seeking a site for the construction of a lagoon to serve the village of Kola.
Recently, after ongoing communication with a potential site owner, council received a letter stating they were no longer interested in selling the land for the use of the Kola wastewater treatment lagoon. Reeve Canart stated, “We had the previous work and engineering and licensing done on a piece of property for a potential lagoon for the Kola community.” He added, “We now have to look at alternative [property] options….”

Canart attended a meeting with residents who are forming a steering committee to work toward the establishment of a Local Urban District (LUD) in Kola. They spoke of “the importance of having a lagoon in the community of Kola, because they feel basically handcuffed on any form of development.”

When the original site identification began in 2014, the engineering and licensing cost $40,000 but council expects that amount to be significantly higher now. Canart said the next step in the process will be “finding out what the cost would be and developing a new engineering plan and licensing for a new site, and then presenting those numbers to the community.”


Payments were approved:

Brandt Tractor $61,783.80 for transmission repairs on the John Deere 870GP grader pending results from oil sampling and inspection.

Doug Cruickshank of $6,000 for training and conducting in-house gravel testing of ABS and traffic-grade gravel.

Cansel Survey Equipment payment of $14,992.30 for one new TSC7 data collector including licensing requirements and training for the GIS department.

Virden Home Hardware Building Centre of $58,908.14 for the Ward 2 shop overhead doors and the payment to Penner Lumber of $24,132.52 for Ward 2 shop rafters.

LRB Electric of $15,656.40 to repair the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and have a spare on the shelf as per the recommendation of the utility committee.

RFNOW of $500 and $145.95 for installation of fibre internet at the Wallace-Woodworth municipal water treatment plant in the Miniota Assiniboine River Valley.

Reeve Clayton Canart recused himself from the meeting for the resolutions to approve payment to Canart Backhoe of $94,289.31 for culvert replacement on Rd 163 W and Rd 72 N as well as $2,126.25 and $5,572.88 for culvert replacement on Rd 162 W.

The request for the installation of two Watch for Children signs on Cemetery Road as per the recommendation of the Transportation Committee was approved.

Council authorized signing a financial assistance agreement with the province to fund the Elkhorn RTM childcare facility project and approved the payment of $332,299.82 to JQ Built for the second progress payment.

Canart said, “I just wanted to make public acknowledgment and appreciation to Fort La Bosse for them being so quick and willing to work with us on the property acquisition to allow the daycare project to go ahead… it's good for the municipality, the community and also the school.”

Reeve Canart reported on a meeting he attended in Elkhorn with Assiniboine Community College (ACC) to explore the possibility of locating the Early Childhood Education course in Elkhorn School. The group from ACC is visiting several communities in the area to determine the best location to deliver this program. Canart wondered if the RM should offer to assist with rent for the facilities “to try and attract the program to be here instead of somewhere else.”

Coun. Barb Stambuski agreed, saying, “I think that's a great idea. Considering we're getting a brand new daycare, we need to ensure that we have the staff there to maximize the number of spaces, so I wouldn't have a problem with supporting the paying of the rent.”

Council passed a resolution to pay the rent for the facility used in ACC’s training program to a maximum of $10,000 over 18 months.


Council discussed possible sources for landowner maps for the municipality. Canart described an app that can provide these maps online but information for this municipality is from 2016. The company involved wants Wallace-Woodworth to submit current data to update it. Canart said, “They want us to supply all of our information and then they charge and make a profit off of it.” CAO Garth Mitchell added, “If they really want the information they can get it, they'll just have to go through it roll by roll and access that information. They want us to bundle and give it to them so they can sell it without having any input.”

Council discussed Manitoba 511 (the provincial highway condition app). Councillor Val Caldwell stated “It's got to the point where it is the most unreliable thing out there. Like the other night, we had the bad weather blow in and … the town of Rivers had their police put out a warning not to drive on a specific part of the road, because it was considered extremely dangerous. And yet Manitoba 511 had it as bare and open.” Caldwell feels that a road condition report that is inaccurate and not recently updated “just creates more hazards for people” as travellers may make driving decisions based on faulty information. She will raise the issue at the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) fall convention on Nov. 28.

Councillor Mark Humphries reported that Janice Barrate is leaving the Border Regional Library board. “She's been there for quite some time. She's been chair and vice chair. So that will be another big blow to the library board,” said Humphries. He added that the board is now two members short.

Councillor Lyle Kinnaird reported on a Handi-Van meeting. He said, “We discussed revisions to the constitution, requests for guidance on future budgets and some realignment of the staffing and the board composition.”

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