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October 2021 Message from Norfolk Treherne Municipal Council


Message from Norfolk Treherne Municipal Council

Council Resignations   Two councillors resigned in August. Thank you to Gilles Guertin and Steve Nicholson for their community service on Council. Diverse ideas lead to good decisions; their opinions will be missed. Reduced Covid-19 restrictions made a by-election possible, with Shawn Jackson and Tom Isford joining Council in October.

MNT Renewable Energy Wind Farm Project   Council received a Wind Resource Report for our Municipality. It concludes that MNT has a high quality wind resource. The purpose of such a document is to attract a developer to install a wind farm here. Also, using required setbacks, a preliminary site map was developed. It indicates that MNT has enough potential sites for a 200 MW wind farm, which is large enough to achieve economy of scale. The next step is to start raising awareness with decision makers and developers regarding the potential for a profitable wind farm in MNT.

Treherne Water Quality   The final JR Cousins Consulting Report for the Treherne Water Quality Project was received and is posted on the September 28 meeting agenda - Item 3.6. It finds that brown water occurred due to under feeding of treatment chemical. In addition, installation of a better treatment chemical pump and changing of softener media helped improve water quality. Increased testing by MNT operators indicates that the Treherne water treatment plant is now operating without process problems. 
A “best-practices” distribution system seasonal flush was completed in late September. The new flushing apparatus was used. All distribution runs achieved the velocity for good cleaning and reached target clarity before the flush was ended. Documentation allows this process to be repeatable. Thank you to Public Works for making the extra effort to ensure this critical job was done well. The spring flush will give good indication of the water treatment plant winter performance

MNT Vehicle Fleet   This quarter, Council pre-ordered a new grader for the scheduled 5-year 2022 replacement. By pre-ordering, a saving of approximately  $32,000 was achieved. After testing graders, the John Deere 872G was selected.

Rathwell Sewer   The environmental review process has been completed, the permit issued and tenders have been received for lagoon construction. Design of the sewer collection system is in progress, with surveying and subsurface work taking place. Tenders for the distribution system closed early in October, and contracts will be awarded shortly with, construction to start as soon as possible. 

MNT Utilities   In August, Mr. Bill Brenner presented his report regarding MNT Utilities. MNT Utilities, part of the Public Works Department, includes water and wastewater plants in Lavenham, Rathwell and Treherne. The report made recommendations to ensure delivery of reliable long-term high-quality service by the plants. The overriding priority is now to find a second qualified, trained operator.
The long overdue rate review process is underway for the Rathwell and Treherne utilities. Rate reviews are required by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) at 3 year intervals and were last done in both Rathwell and Treherne 11 years ago. The PUB requires that utilities be self-sustaining, with a surplus to cope with unexpected expenses. At this time, the Lavenham utility is in compliance, but the Rathwell and Treherne utilities are not. 

Lavenham Utility Manganese Treatment System  Due to changes in provincial drinking water standards, Lavenham requires water treatment to reduce manganese to the newly mandated level. Mr. Brenner presented a manganese reduction plan that will be submitted to the province. MNT has applied to the Manitoba Water Services Board (MWSB) for 50% funding for this project.

Rural Wireless   Xplornet is continuing the upgrade of their wireless internet system in MNT. The tower on Road 38N is being replaced with a stronger one. The tower on Road 41N is progressing through the permitting process.

Bosc Bridge  In July, Council passed the borrowing by-law for the Bosc Bridge. Also in July, Council reviewed the use of culverts for the crossing. Engineering budget documents showed a culvert option cost of $1,000,000 compared to a bridge cost of $559,000. Culvert cost is higher due to the required environmental review, sizing for passage of fish, and drying out the river bed for foundation installation.
Tender documents for bridge fabrication were posted in July, and four tenders were received. Tenders were within the project budget, but none were accepted. This preliminary tendering provided information for the commencement of foundation design. When the foundation design is complete, the fabrication and construction of the bridge will be retendered to determine a total project cost.

South Central Gas   The GPSG is progressing their initiative to gather data on other municipalities’ future energy needs. MNT replied to this survey, stating that our municipality is part of the GPSG. It is not within the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) mandate to give grants or to invest in natural gas projects, but the GPSG hope is that the CIB will in some way facilitate the funding of the South Central Natural Gas Project.

H Line Drainage Project   Construction of the H Line drainage project has been completed. The seven miles of improvements will aid drainage and help maintain fertility in the affected area.  The $21,500 grant obtained from the Central Assiniboine Watershed District will help defray the cost of this project. 

Boyne River Flow Improvement Initiative   The existing plan is to remove select blockages in October. 
2021 Road Maintenance  This year MNT graveled 95 miles of road.  In addition, road improvement projects were completed on Roads 50W, 47W and 38N.

Council urges all residents to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Please try to meet or exceed the intent of all provincial Covid-19 guidelines at all times.

Stay safe.
Reeve Will Eert Deputy Reeve Robert Davy
Councilors Ryan Gaultier, Albert Lesage, Larry Marlatt, Tom Isford and Shawn Jackson 
October 2021