Mayor addresses COVID-19 "snitching"

Following the in-camera session of this week’s virtual Town of Virden Council meeting, Mayor Murray Wright addressed allegations that Town employees are engaged in enforcing the COVID-19 health orders presently mandated by Manitoba Public Health. “None of our employees are snitching on vehicles being parked at people’s property,” Wright said. “That is a job for the RCMP, and the Sergeant at the RCMP station in Virden told our CAO directly that they are the ones that write the tickets, not the people that are driving around town and trying to be police officers. I just want everyone to know that no one in Town employment is doing any of this, despite any of the rumours you might hear.”


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Authorization was given for interested councillors to participate in an interactive webinar entitled “To The Finish Line and Beyond – Setting Realistic Priorities” which will be hosted by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities on January 28. The cost will be $100.00 per person plus GST.


Council agreed to reduce the dollar amount of the monthly lease paid by the Virden and Area Fitness Centre at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.  This will be retroactive to November 12, the day the province-wide “Code Red” restrictions took effect and the facility was mandated to shut down, and will apply until it is permitted to reopen.  The discount will be the savings realized by not requiring any contracted janitorial services during the closure. 


An offer of $500 from Todd Sparwood was accepted for a 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup truck which the Town no longer requires.  The other truck which was initially put up for sale, a 2009 GMC 1500, will be retained for parts. 


After a new four-way stop was installed at Queen Street East and Second Avenue South, Chief Administrative Officer Rhonda Stewart was contacted by a citizen who expressed concern regarding traffic being diverted on to Wellington Street East and the speed at which it was travelling. A request was made for an additional four-way stop to be added at its intersection with Second Avenue South. After the December 1 meeting, Council asked Public Works Foreman Maurice Kernel to investigate the situation and report back. He looked at Nelson Street traffic as well, and recommended setting up a speed bump. Coun. Grant Gardiner expressed his opposition to such a move. “I’m in favour of the stop signs, but I do not want to see a speed bump being put on any streets,” he said. “We get enough potholes to worry about without somebody phoning in about a speed bump.” Council decided to proceed with putting in a four-way stop on Wellington Street as requested.  The acquisition of a solar digital speed sign, which could be used in different locations as deemed necessary, will also be investigated. 


The Town’s annual membership in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities was renewed at a cost of $908.36.


Council adopted the municipal emergency plan, which has been revised and updated by Westman Emergency Group and will be forwarded to the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization. 


As required by the provincial Municipal Act, Council approved an interim operating budget, which will be in place until adoption of the 2021 Financial Plan. 


During the first quarter of 2021, regular meetings of Council will be moved to the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The meetings will be held on Jan. 12 and 26, Feb. 9 and 23 and March 9 and 23. 

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