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Elkhorn ice plant plans move forward

RM of Wallace-Woodworth council meeting April 8
The Assiniboine River in Virden Valley is rising and the ice is breaking up on April 8.

At the April 8 meeting the RM of Wallace-Woodworth councillors reviewed the financial statements from the Elkhorn District Community Centre (EDCC) that had been requested at the previous meeting. EDCC had sought council’s approval for bridge financing to continue work on the planned installation of the new ice plant at the rink. CAO Garth Mitchell explained that the group had received all the advance payments available for the grant that had been approved and although there is still $50,000 available on that grant, the funds won’t be received until the project is complete. The bridge loan of $50,000 would be repaid as soon as all funds from the grant are received.

Reeve Clayton Canart stated, “I'm in favor of doing whatever helps them. We haven't granted anything as the RM towards the ice plant project itself.”

Administration will draft a bylaw to establish the bridge loan and present it to council for approval.

Development officer/building inspector Cory Nixon attended to discuss the use of a modified shipping container to house the new ice plant at the Elkhorn rink. Regulations prohibit the use of these containers for storage within the LUD of Elkhorn. Nixon noted that, “The structure is not an ordinary shipping container anymore. … So, although the bylaw says no shipping containers are allowed, I can consider this a building because it's been designed (to house equipment).” He also clarified that the permit fee for the building would be based on the value of the structure alone, not including the machinery contained within it. Council approved both conditions as proposed.


Council received information from the provincial government that the seven-year freeze on the municipal operating basket funding has ended and an additional $47 million in unconditional funding will go to municipalities. The province will also add an additional $23.4 million to invest in infrastructure projects.

The Blue-Ribbon Panel on Infrastructure has been created to provide advice and recommendations on critical infrastructure investments in Manitoba. The panel is composed of members representing all regions and economic interests and are appointed by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. It is co-chaired by Scott Phillips, a councillor of the Rural Municipality of Sifton and an Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) board member, and Carly Edmundson, president and CEO of Centreport.

Reeve Canart congratulated Coun. Val Caldwell and the group who have been active in promoting a medical school at Brandon University. The recent budget included commitments to expand the existing programs and infrastructure.


Council approved the submission of the five-year capital plan to the Manitoba Water Services Board.

Council approved the use of road upgrade bylaw funds for 2023 projects with a total amount of $794,125.42 including $401,633.80 for frost boil repairs and $390,492.62 for the Butler Bridge project.

Council received a request to sell an inactive satellite dish. The purchaser offered $50 to acquire the dish and clean up the site. However, council agreed to release the dish for no charge on the condition that this dish as well as another dish at that location be removed.


Coun. Lyle Kinnaird attended the Dennis County meeting and reviewed the quotes on housing assessments to determine housing needs in the area. The group will wait for a pending Trans Canada West decision and a presentation from a group that has tendered a proposal to conduct the assessment.

Coun. Diana MacDonald attended the Wallace District Fire Department (WDFD) meeting and reported that they haven't had any calls lately but conducted a traffic control training session. They have had trouble with their handheld radios and will try longer antennas to see if this helps. WDFD will have first aid training in June and are considering training for class three licenses with air brake certification.

Reeve Canart reported that he had quite a few phone calls and messages “regarding the possible detour that was proposed with the protests on the highway that thankfully didn't turn into a detour.”

Coun. Barb Stambuski reported from the Trans Canada West planning meeting that there were three permits granted, one in Virden and one in Wallace-Woodworth. The committee considered proposals for the development plan, and Stambuski said, “We are down to two that we're seriously considering.” She added that there is uncertainty about how the costs were arrived at for the proposals. “So we're going back to those two and asking them a few more questions.”

Stambuski also attended a meeting with one of the veterinarians and one of the developers regarding the new clinic building to obtain an estimate of the cost. The estimate will be used to plan financing for the project and was significantly higher than expected. She anticipates that there will be frequent meetings to get the new development started.

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