Two Borders May 2015 Bulletin

There is nothing like watching a herd of cattle, put out to pasture in the spring, as they fan out from the gate stopping every few yards to rip up a mouthful of tender new grass. Then again, does anything smell quite as promising as the earthy tang of a freshly worked field warming up under the caress of a prairie sun in May?

It occurred to me recently that I haven’t really appreciated those things in a while. I suppose machinery hasn’t rolled up and down the fields nearly so frequently in the past few years, and while the cattle, for the most part, still made their yearly sojourns to pasture, the angst and inconvenience of flooding has sapped much of the joy from those simple pleasures that make farming in
western Canada the very best way of life.

While we have had some very heavy rains here in Two Borders, we have thus far been spared the devastation of another flood - touch wood.

However, we continue to live with the legacy of the 2014 flood event.

At least in part due to very high water levels, frost boils have been a scourge upon our local gravel roads and highways this season. They have popped up with the unbridled enthusiasm of early
summer dandelions and made expensive, and in some cases dangerous, nuisances of themselves. Although Council did not have any municipal road bans this year, we have been forced
to close a number of gravel roads because they have become  impassable.

Council would like to urge everyone to travel with care for both their personal safety, and with a consideration for the state the roads are in.

Many major sites, municipal bridges and crossings, remain unfinished. These sites present both a danger and an annoyance, as signage blows over or is sometimes vandalized or stolen, leaving the motorist vulnerable to unmarked hazards while being patently inconvenient.We urge people to drive with caution and we want you to know that we are working very hard to get infrastructure repaired.

Municipal administration and council continue to contact, sometimes daily, Manitoba Emergency Measures, Disaster Financial Assistance and Stantec Engineering, the firm
solely contracted by Manitoba government for the 2014 flood recovery, in an effort to complete the processing of these sites, so we can begin repair in these places.

Two Borders has worked diligently to make Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation aware of the state some of the area provincial highways are in, speaking by telephone and requesting
meetings with portfolio Ministers, so we have the pleasure of pointing them out firsthand. We commend the good work our local highways department does considering these challenges.

We are proud to say that as a result of the hard work through meetings and conferences to lobby for a program so flood victims had an opportunity to protect their homes and farms from future flood events,

Two Borders council can report that the Manitoba government just announced an Individual Flood Protection Program for Manitoba residents.

Details are currently being released and we applaud and appreciate the government’s commitment to helping Manitobans mitigate future events.

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) June District meetings are right around the corner, and Two Borders Council has passed two resolutions we hope can go
forward to the November convention.

They are:
Whereas municipalities have been hit by multiple years of flooding and crop insurance premiums have increased while coverage has decreased; Now be it hereby resolved that the
AMM lobby the Province of Manitoba that where municipalities have been hit by multiple years of excess moisture, that indi -
vidual producers not be penalized by increased premiums and decreased coverage on Excessive Moisture Claims.

And, a resolution passed jointly with the Town of Melita and the RM of Pipestone:
Whereas health care is of vital importance to the citizens of rural southwestern Manitoba; And whereas the shortage of doctors and nurses is causing frequent temporary suspensions of emergency
rooms and acute care services; and whereas the citizens of these communities have no family doctors or basic health care services available; Now be it resolved that the
Association of Manitoba Municipalities lobby the Province of Manitoba to provide, at the very least, a reasonable basic level of health care in the area facilities.

As well, a joint committee has been newly formed among area municipalities to begin to tackle the very serious issue of the future of health care in our region.

Gravel should be being crushed and going on roads soon.

Budget deadlines are looming and as we work through the details, mill rates - both differential and at-large - prompt some very lively conversations around the table!

I hope you are all taking time to notice the simple beauty of cattle or sheep grazing companionably on area pastures, and please remember to drive carefully on municipal
roads and highways.


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submitted by Reeve Deb McMechan for the Council of the Municipality of Two Borders

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