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Niverville Council Meeting in Review—April 20

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Town Council Picture Web
Councillor Chris Wiebe, Deputy Mayor John Funk, Mayor Myron Dyck, CAO Eric King, Councillor Kevin Stott, and Councillor Nathan Dueck. Brenda Sawatzky

Following the reading of the 2021 budget at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 20, council covered a number of items on the town’s agenda.

The first item up for discussion relates to a new proposed subdivision in The Highlands. Len Peters from Sunset Estates requested the use of two parcels of land to create 97 single-family lots and two multifamily lots. The trigger for this public hearing was the creation of two new public roads and two dedicated public reserves. Council approved this motion.

New Residential Building

The next item on the agenda was a request by Greenwood Developments for four variances to be made to yard setback and fence height bylaws in order to accommodate a new multifamily residential building at 78 Third Avenue South. The ten-unit complex will have covered balconies on the side and rear of the building and 22 parking spaces.

Councillor Kevin Stott recused himself from the meeting at this point due to a conflict of interest, as he is a resident of the immediate area.

An objection letter was read into the minutes, signed by nine families who live in the affected neighbourhood. The letter covered several concerns that residents have about the potential new building. They fear increased traffic on Third Avenue South as well as extra vehicles parking in the area. They are additionally concerned about compromising the look of the street and the precedent this decision may set by allowing smaller yard sizes.

The families also voiced concern that a multifamily building would attract lower-income residents to the area, which they feel could cause their real estate values to drop and deter future buyers.

The matter was put to a vote and council passed the application by Greenwood Developments unanimously.

After the vote, Mayor Dyck addressed many of the concerns raised by residents. Third Avenue South, he says, is scheduled to see repairs either this year or next. He points out that the roads in Niverville are more than capable of handling the proposed level of increase in traffic.

He also said that he has never heard of a case of property values being lowered due to the additional of a multifamily building in any neighbourhood, and this is based on 18 years of personal experience.

Mayor Dyck also pointed to the current lack of affordable housing in Niverville. There are many people, he said, who want to live in smaller homes, including adult children looking to move out of their parents’ homes, minimalists, single people, and single parents.

“We do not have enough housing in this community for people like that,” he stressed. “Just because people are of lower income doesn’t mean they are less of a citizen. We welcome all citizens here.”

Ways and Means

Later in the meeting, the Niverville Community Garden Policy was approved. This will allow for the town to rent garden plots or raised garden beds to the public. The community garden will be located east of the Niverville Curling Club.

Council also approved the Memorial Trees Policy, which will allow local citizens to donate trees and plaques in the name of loved ones.

The town’s recycling contract for the next five years has been awarded to Green Acres Disposal Services out of Winkler. The town will purchase all of Bristal Hauling’s current recycling carts for $30 each as well as purchase 594 new carts at $80 each. It is estimated that these carts will suffice for the town for the next four to five years.

Despite the change in provider, the recycling pickup schedule and the items that may be placed in the cart will remain the same.

Census 2021

Mayor Dyck also took the opportunity to speak about the upcoming Niverville census, which will be taking place in the upcoming year.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the census will be conducted by mail. Residents can expect to receive their census document in May.

He reiterated the importance that each and every resident of Niverville fill out the census and return it. Much of the town’s funding is based on population levels and many potential grants are issued on a per capita basis, so having an accurate accounting of the number of residents of Niverville is crucial.

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