Virden’s town council has agreed with petitioning residents who want lower speed limits on a road bordering the southern edge of the community.
Councilors responded to citizens concerned with the rate of speed motorists travel along Government Road South (PR257) between Highway 83 and Thomas Drive. That section of roadway has posted limits of 90 kilometres per hour at the White Owl Energy turnoff down to 50 kilometres per hour immediately at the intersection of Thomas Drive and PR257.
At their regular meeting on Tuesday, councilors noted that the stretch of road has been a safety concern. They passed a resolution to join the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth in formally appealing to the Province of Manitoba – which holds jurisdiction over PR257 – to reduce the speed limit in the area from 90 kilometres per hour to 70 kilometres per hour. A total of 36 names were signed to a petition sent to the municipality early this year through Trans Canada West Planning District building inspector and development officer Cory Nixon.
The request to the provincial government will be made shortly, but there is no knowledge of when the town will hear a response.
During discussion of the matter, Mayor Murray Wright said there may be other stretches of provincial roadway that should have their speed limits reassessed as well. He noted one potential area of concern runs along Commonwealth Drive between the Trans Canada Highway and the Virden Airport. Like PR257, that span of road goes from 50 kilometres per hour to 90 kilometres per hour as one travels further out of town.
Councilor Tina Williams suggested the town wait for a response regarding PR257 before moving ahead on other requests.
Promising water source found
The Town of Virden and the Manitoba Water Services Board (MWSB) are taking another step in their search for new municipal water sources.
The MWSB led test-drilling efforts last summer to find another well-site for Virden’s water supply. One site has shown promise, but requires further study.
In the meantime, while the town waits for the results of grant applications related to its water treatment system, the MWSB and Virden will split the $150,000 cost of designing new infrastructure for the potential source. An agreement between the two entities will see Manitoba Water Services pay $75,000, with the remainder covered by the municipality.
Arsenic levels in Virden’s potable water system were found to be above federal regulatory limits in 2017, moving the town to change its water treatment procedures. The water quality improved, but arsenic levels increased again the following year.
The town approached the MWSB for help, which led to further improvements to the water treatment facility and the search for a new source of water.