During his monthly policing report to Town of Virden Council at their regular in-person meeting on June 7, RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott Fefchak praised the actions of a local officer, Cst. Kristin Foreman, in averting potential disaster. Foreman recently spotted a fire outside the Association for Community Living (ACL) residence on King Street across from the detachment office, and is slated to receive a commendation from the force.
“Cst. Foreman was finishing up her shift… taking firearms out of the patrol car (when she) saw the fire, grabbed her extinguisher and put it out,” Fefchak said. He suspects that the blaze was caused by disposal of smoking materials in a nearby planter.
In other policing matters, Fefchak noted that the 55 calls for service which came in during May was a decrease from the 72 received during the same month last year. He reported that officers have been concentrating on being visible and enforcing traffic laws on top of their regular duties. Patrols, check stops and enforcement measures have been conducted at schools during class hours.
Councillors congratulated Fefchak on his recent promotion to Staff Sergeant. Current vacancies include a sergeant, a corporal and two constables. One member has resigned from the force and is relocating to B.C., while others have been transferred to Poplar Point in Manitoba and Moosomin, Sask. An experienced officer is relocating to Virden from Dauphin and one cadet from the RCMP Training Depot in Regina has arrived. Another new graduate is expected in mid-July, and a third at the end of August.
During the discussion, Coun. Karel Munchinsky brought forward a concern regarding unlicensed vehicles being parked on Virden streets for extended periods of time. Fefchak advised Munchinsky to have the complainant(s) contact police directly.
Meanwhile, Mayor Murray Wright asked the Staff Sgt. whether measures were in place to respond to a critical incident in a school setting, should there be a similar occurrence to recent happenings in the United States.
“We have an action plan,” Fefchak said. “It’s called the Safe Schools Program. We have on our data base a diagram of every school in our area of responsibility. We can do lockdown practices to help with that. Every member here is assigned a school in our area and they keep in communication. Hopefully it (an incident) never ever happens, but there have been drills, and teachers know it, too.”
THE BUSINESS OF COMMUNICATION
As part of the Town’s new strategic plan, a series of luncheon meetings are being planned in order to dialogue with the business community. The three sessions, which will cover a variety of civic topics such as recreation programming and the recently announced storefront improvement grant program, are slated for July 7, Sept. 8 and Nov. 10.
BALL DIAMOND RENTAL RATE
A tournament rental rate for the baseball diamonds has been set at $40 per game for a minimum of three consecutive games, up to $120 per day. This is in effect retroactive to May 1.
AMM ELECTION RESOURCES
To guide prospective candidates, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) has compiled a resource hub related to the Oct. 26 municipal election, which includes a testimonial from former Mayor Jeff McConnell. This information may be found on the AMM website, and will be shared on the Town’s social media channels.
YEAR OF THE GARDEN
Council accepted an invitation extended to all municipalities across Canada and passed a motion declaring 2022 as the Year of the Garden in Virden.
COURT OFFICE LEASE RENEWED
The lease with the Province of Manitoba for the court room in the Civic Centre will be renewed for a two-year term from April 1, 2022 to March 21, 2014 at a rate of $2,760.66 per month.
LPN TRAINING SITE RENOS
Council accepted a quotation from Virden Home Centre Ltd., in the amount of $31,455.61 plus applicable taxes, for the provision of materials and supplies for the renovation of the licensed practical nursing training site. The program will be launched this fall and will operate from the former Extreme Glass & Siding building on King Street. Council also authorized Economic Development Manager (EDM) Liza Park to seek funding partners for the renovation work.
WAYFINDING SIGNAGE DESIGN
A quotation from HTFC Planning & Design of Winnipeg, in the amount of $24,750 plus GST and engineering, was accepted for the design, implementation and contract administration of the wayfinding signage project for the downtown revitalization was accepted. EDM Park explained that the expenditure forms part of this year’s budget for the revitalization. She said that the Town had obtained a quote from HTFC in 2021 in order to determine how much to allocate for the work. She asked the company to update it and requested pricing from another firm for comparison purposes. HTFC, meanwhile, removed contract administration and tender period services from their bid, which reduced the cost by approximately $7,000. As the alternate bid was higher and did not meet the specifications, Park recommended that Council accept HTFC’s original quote, which included the additional work.
“Once we get the design documents, that’s them (HTFC) assisting when we go to RFP (request for proposal),” she said. “It also helps to make sure that local fabricators, when they’re responding to the RFP, that they’re responding properly to the design documents. I don’t have that expertise so I’d rather keep that cost in there. Their first quote included it, but when I asked them to update it, they took it out because they didn’t think they would be comparative to us going to another company.”
EQUIPMENT AND MATERIAL PRICING
Council accepted a list of prices submitted by contractors for the supply of materials and equipment for the 2022 construction season as presented.
CANADA’S WALK OF FAME
EDM Park advised Council that a Canada’s Walk of Fame “star” will be presented in Virden on July 11, with details still to be confirmed. Jim Treliving, Chairman and Co-owner of Boston Pizza International, will receive the honour in his hometown during a ceremony at Tundra Oil & Gas Place. Cindy Klassen, a retired long track speedskater and six-time Olympic medalist, will be recognized at a similar event in Winnipeg the same day, and will accompany Treliving to Virden. A plaque commemorating the occasion will be set up in Town, and organizers will announce the recipient of a $10,000 donation to a charity of Treliving’s choice. Park noted that the event had been organized and subsequently cancelled on two occasions due to COVID-19.
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING RECEIVED
The Town will receive $36,818.74 in funding through a one-time provincial grant program announced in May. According to a release, the investment of $15 million is designed to provide municipalities with financial support for road reconstruction, rehabilitation and preservation projects. The money will be distributed on a per-capita basis.
SUMMER MEETING DATES SET
During the summer months, Town Council will meet on July 19 and Aug. 13.