At the recent July meeting, Council gave third reading to a by-law authorizing the issuance of debentures to raise the necessary funds for installation and commissioning of a new water well and pipeline to serve the community. After being given first reading on June 2, the by-law was sent to the provincial Municipal Board, which issued an order granting its approval subject to several amendments being made. The project is estimated to cost $3 million, which will be shared on a 50/50 basis between the Town and the Manitoba Water Services Board. No objections to the by-law were received.
Speeding and scams
Westman RCMP Staff Sgt. Colby Argue presented his monthly report to Council. During June, there were 108 calls for service, an increase over the 96 recorded during the same month in 2019. The bulk of those were traffic related, with 55 such offences dealt with.
Coun. Karel Munchinsky took issue with vehicles travelling at excessive speed in the vicinity of Mary Montgomery School. “Guys in four-wheel drive trucks just hammer it,” he said. “There’s little kids that wander out and nothing seems to stop these guys.” Argue took note of the observations. “I’d encourage people to call in if things are occurring…if we start getting complaints in certain areas, it really helps us narrow in on where we should focus our efforts,” he said.
Coun. Travis Penner noted that the June numbers included a higher than average number of moving violations. “A good chunk of those are related to speeding,” Argue said. “You’ve probably seen them (patrol officers) set up out by the cement plant. That’s where it’s 100 (km/h) and hasn’t quite got to the 110 zone. King Street has been our area of focus, too. There have been some (speeders) on King Street and I think that’s been a good share of the warnings to people, coming in a little bit fast and getting stopped.”
Argue told councillors that there has been an upswing in the number of reported frauds, as perpetrators take advantage a spike in the number of people at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. He asked that people be vigilant when asked for information over the phone. “There’s a scam in the community where they are threatening that people will be arrested,” he said. “Most people will pick up on it, but we need to get the message out that we’re not going to call someone and arrest them over the phone. We would never ask people to send iTunes cards or Google Play or anything like that, and neither would the Canada Revenue Agency. We encourage people to contact Phone Busters or the Anti-Fraud Centre to report that stuff. They keep a running tab of all the frauds going on.”
Tax prepayment discount extended
Council agreed to an extension of the tax pre-payment discount, currently at .75%, until August 31 due to the tax bills not arriving from the province until mid-July.
Health Care Aide program
Council considered a request from Prairie Mountain Health for space to facilitate the local delivery of the Health Care Aide program. “What they’re looking at more from the community is if we have in-kind space…perhaps a couple of computer stations, that type of thing,” said Chief Administrative Officer Rhonda Stewart.
All the necessary equipment will be supplied by Assiniboine Community College, which delivers the instruction. She encouraged Council to submit a proposal to have the training offered locally. “Many people have to work full-time or are single parents, and try to do it in the evenings, so being able to do it in their own community would be an asset,” she said. “With the social distancing, they may be looking at a totally different way to run the program.”
The start date may not be until 2021.
Oil Capitals rent cancelled
Virden Hockey Ventures Inc. (Virden Oil Capitals) requested an adjustment to the rental paid for the use of Tundra Oil & Gas Place. Deputy Mayor Tina Williams explained that due to the ice being removed and the facility closed from March 17 to April 30, the team was unable to hold its Spring Training Camp. They also could not access their business office during the same period. Council decided to forgive the amount applicable, as well as provide 20 hours of ice time towards the Prospect Camp held July 31 through August