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Niverville Council Meeting in Review—November 17

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Niverville's town council, crowded together as people were wont to do in pre-COVID times: Chris Wiebe, John Funk, Myron Dyck, Eric King, Kevin Stott, and Nathan Dueck. Brenda Sawatzky

Niverville’s council met on the evening of Tuesday, November 17 to discuss a variety of items on the town’s agenda. Chris Wiebe’s absence was excused due to illness.

Town to Enforce Public Health Orders

Mayor Myron Dyck says that the provincial government has requested assistance in enforcing public health orders related to COVID-19 within municipalities. In the Town of Niverville, this means that the town has been asked to contribute resources by way of bylaw officers, or Commissionaires, to follow up on tips or concerns of non-compliance with public health orders.

The town does not currently employ a bylaw officer, but instead enforces bylaws through a multi-year agreement with the Commissionaires. The Commissionaires are a private, self-supporting, not-for-profit organization that contracts officers, usually ex-military personnel, to provide security-related services to federal and provincial facilities, municipalities, and the private sector.

The public is advised that they should not call 911 to report perceived violations of public health orders. Instead they should use the province’s tip line (see below for details). After reporting an issue of non-compliance, enforcement will be followed up by a Commissionaire.

Council unanimously approved this motion.

AMM Annual Convention

Mayor Dyck reminded the other members of councils about the upcoming convention of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM), happening on November 23 at 9:00 a.m. via live broadcast.

This annual event is where members of the AMM have the opportunity to vote on various resolutions affecting rural municipalities. Dyck explained that the responsibility to vote is to be taken seriously, as the resolutions passed by the AMM help form the foundation of a lot of town business.

Dyck alerted fellow council members to their ability to participate in advanced voting regarding the proposals which are being brought forward to consider this year.

Highway Appropriation

Town CAO Eric King presented a recommendation for the Town of Niverville to request that the province turn over more of Highway 311 on the east and west ends of town—specifically, from Wallace Road to Sixth Avenue South.

Currently, the town assumes authority of Highway 311 from the railroad tracks to Fifth Avenue.

Appropriating the increased portion of the roadway will allow the town to take responsibility for setting speed limits and provide greater freedom in terms of making development decisions, such as for digging for cables and other infrastructure. It would also give the town more flexibility to administer zoning bylaws.

The province would retain responsibility for the road itself, such as capital projects leading to the road, snow-clearing, and maintenance.

Lengthy Service

King announced that the current council has together achieved a combined sixty-eight years of service to the community. In recognition of the years served, the AMM has sent commemorative pins to each council member.

Chris Wiebe was awarded a five-year pin (having completed a total of six years). Myron Dyck achieved a ten-year pin (having completed a total of 12 years of service). Kevin Stott also was awarded a ten-year pin, and is already set to achieve his 15-year pin next year. John Funk was awarded a 30-year pin after serving 32 years.

“Congratulations to each of those receiving pins this year, and especially for your willingness to serve,” said Mayor Dyck. “To the residents of Niverville, for putting your trust in those serving, for this duration of time, I think it shows a great deal of good faith.”

Council also made a statement of recognition to King for reaching five years of service as the town CAO.

Going to Virtual Meetings

The town has been making arrangements to securely administer council meetings in a virtual format beginning in December. The meeting will be conducted online indefinitely.

Mayor Dyck explained that residents will be notified about public hearings three or four weeks in advance. He also acknowledged that there is no firm date by which the province is expected to upgrade from code red.

“When I listen to the briefings from Dr. Roussin on the radio, he had said they are talking about two incubation periods,” said Dyck. “He said it can be as early as ten days, but realistically 28 days, which would take us to about December 10.”

The online meetings will still be open to the public, but registration will be required if an individual wishes to view or speak online.

Town Planning Sessions

This year’s annual town planning session will take place November 20–21. The meeting will provide an opportunity for council to outline the projects they wish to pursue in 2021. The town will provide a public report on the planning session.

And finally, Mayor Dyck encourages all residents to support local this Christmas.

For more information

To report a compliance or enforcement issues, visit: https://forms.gov.mb.ca/covid-tip-line or call 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862 (toll-free) and pressing option three on the call menu.

If you wish to view or speak at an online council meeting, contact the town through feedback@whereyoubelong.ca or call 204-388-4600.

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