Welcome to the Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton Website

Bifrost-Riverton is located approximately 100 kilometers north of Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital. The community lies along the western shore of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba’s largest lake, and is part of the province’s Interlake Region. The municipality includes the growing community of Riverton, and surrounds the Town of Arborg. We hope that you find the information provided here interesting and useful. If you are not currently a resident of Bifrost-Riverton, we hope that you will visit us soon to see what we have to offer to tourists, residents and businesses.

An Update: Local Improvement No. 01-2017, Borrowing By-law 18-2017

 

On December 22, 2017, the Municipality received a letter from the Municipal Board regarding our application for Borrowing. The letter indicated that the panel was unable to make a decision and required a bit more information. The Municipality was disappointed that these questions were not presented at the Hearing and now a decision on this proposed borrowing has been delayed even further. The Municipality also feels that these questions were already answered during the Municipal Board Hearing. A response to the questions the Municipal Board has asked were mailed to them on Monday, February 5, 2018.

At the point when a date to reconvene the Municipal Board hearing is set, notice must be given 40 days in advance of the hearing date. This can be done so by advertising in a local newspaper. The Municipality was not required to and did not feel it was in the taxpayer’s best interest to spend money on notifying the Public when it initially received the letter and then again when we are required to give Public Notice of the date to reconvene the Municipal Board Hearing. We have had several members of the Public contact the Municipal office to inquire as to the decision made by the Municipal Board and I have provided the Public with the information.

For the Growing Forward 2 Program and the grant that was awarded to BASIC, I feel it is necessary to provide some facts for the Public:

 

 

· There are several funding envelopes through this Growing Forward 2 grant including Labour, Vehicle, Surveying/Engineering, Crop Trials, Office Supplies and Equipment.

· The Municipality has provided some in-kind services towards the Growing Forward 2 Project. The contributions are as follows:

o Administrative services including the services of our Public Works Manager as well as my services as the Finance Administrator. I administer funds from a separate account in BASIC’s name. The funds in this account are provided through the Growing Forward 2 grant; and,

o Office space rental for the Project Manager out of the Riverton office. We also provide the use of our Council chambers for meetings regarding the project.

It needs to be stressed that the work that has been done by BASIC and funded through the Growing Forward 2 grant has been extremely valuable to the Municipality. Some of the highlights are as follows:

 

  • · BASIC’s Project Manager, Kyle Stadnek, along with Consultants have been diligently working to develop an overall comprehensive drainage plan for the Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton. They have identified mini watersheds throughout the Municipality and projects will now be able to be determined by using a more focused approach;
  • · Through the Growing Forward 2 grant, over 350 miles of drains have been surveyed. In the past, the Municipality would budget anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 a year for surveying and only received surveys for the current year’s projects. There was a lack of long-term planning; and,
  • · Partnerships have been developed and the Municipality and BASIC are working in conjunction with a wider network of groups including the Province of Manitoba through Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, neighboring Municipalities, and East Interlake Conservation District. This enables us to look at drainage in regional approach rather than just within electoral boundaries.

 

Our Council has also taken steps to further modify their previous policies with regards to drainage in this area. In the past, our drainage program was developed on an individual ward by ward, mile by mile basis. It was proposed by our Public Works Chair and Deputy Reeve David Shott that we need to look at our drainage program from a systematic approach to ensure complete drainage systems are improved at the same time instead of on an individual mile by mile basis. This systematic approach would include beginning at the outlet of that drainage system rather than a piecemeal approach that can result in moving problems downstream instead of solving them. Council agreed and it was determined that the best avenue would be to develop drainage committees. We now have the West Drainage Committee and the East Drainage Committee which are each comprised of 3 Councillors and 2 citizen representatives. They meet with the Public Works Manager and the BASIC Project Manager to determine priority projects and put a plan in place for the construction season. These decisions will be made easier once the overall comprehensive drainage plan is finalized.

It is also important to note that projects cannot be “set in stone” so to speak. Projects are not only determined based on priority, there are also several external factors that play a role. Some examples of those factors are as follows:

 

  • · Condition of third-order (Provincial) drains;
  • · Being able to obtain a water rights licence through Sustainable Development;
  • · Obtaining landowner permission to allow us to have equipment or deposit material on their property;
  • · Weather conditions;
  • · Location of utilities such as phone or hydro lines; and,
  • · Budget constraints.

 

With the 350 plus miles of surveys that BASIC has obtained for the Municipality through the Growing Forward 2 grant, BASIC’s Project Manager has been able to complete a design with grade line and culvert dimensions. These designs are then submitted to Sustainable Development through their Water Licencing Branch for approval. Once a license is received by the Municipality, we are then able to either plan to have our municipally owned equipment perform the work required or it is tendered out and projects are most often awarded to the lowest tender received. If tenders come in way higher than expected, the project may not be awarded. Anyone may view a tender contract or bid or come to a tender opening. Awarded tenders are indicated on our Council Minutes which are posted to the Municipal website at www.rmbifrost.com. One thing to note, when viewing the Minutes, projects that are listed as BASIC projects are still Municipal projects. The only reason these projects are designated as “BASIC Projects” are so that we can identify the projects that BASIC has assisted with surveying, design and tendering.

There is one other option available to have drainage work done and that is if an individual wants to apply to the Municipality to construct or maintain the drain themselves. That would require the individual to provide a performance bond to the Municipality and would only be approved with the condition that the Municipality has a licence or is able to obtain a licence to do so through Sustainable Development Water Licencing Branch. Upon completion, the Municipality would inspect the work done and either approve and release the performance bond or require further work to be done by the individual. If this route is of interest to individuals in our Municipality, please contact our Public Works Manager Jason Comeau at 204-376-2391.

It also needs to be stressed that the Municipality does not provide funds to BASIC for the completion of drainage projects. Any costs associated with the actual physical aspect of all municipal drainage projects are the responsibility of the Municipality. This includes but is not limited to culverts, contractors and gravel. BASIC’s contribution through the Growing Forward 2 grant to drainage projects in the last 2 years has been towards the surveying and design as well as the assistance of BASIC’s Project Manager through the tendering and overseeing of projects. Decisions on projects are solely made by the Drainage Committees, not BASIC.

As with any change in policy and developing a process for future, there will be periods of learning and growing. This Council continues to strive towards making decisions that are efficient and financially sound. We appreciate the patience of our citizens and landowners as we try to find a workable solution to better manage drainage in our area.

Cindy Stansell, CMMA

Chief Administrative Officer

Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton

 

Local Government - Council

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Contact Us

329 River Road, Box 70, Arborg, MB R0C 0A0
Phone: 376-2391  Fax: 376-2742
Email:  bifrost@mymts.net