Ritchot council talks high-speed internet and lagoon expansion

·3 min read

At a public council meeting held on September 7, Ritchot council talked expansions. The first focused on the extension of high-speed internet services to the balance of the RM. The second discussion addressed the need for an expansion to the existing sewage lagoon located near Île-des-Chênes.

High-Speed Internet

After the completion of internet infrastructure installation in Ste. Agathe, council addressed a number of requests which, if approved, would see high-speed internet services continue north and into the remainder of the RM.

The requests, made by Valley Fiber, were in reference to the construction of two new public utility buildings, similar to the one the company constructed in Ste. Agathe. The two new 12-foot by 14-foot buildings would be located in St. Adolphe and Grande Pointe.

Council unanimously approved Valley Fiber’s request for the subdivision of a parcel of land belonging to the RM located at the corner of Bernat Road and Oak Grove Road in Grande Pointe. The section of land, measuring 117 feet by 134 feet, was sold to Valley Fiber for a cost of $1.

“There is a triangular piece there that we’re going to be closing as a road and converting it to, basically, regular land,” Duval told The Citizen. “From that triangular piece, Valley Fiber will want a subdivided piece out of that.”

In St. Adolphe, council will be following a similar process to allow for the construction of a public utility building here. The location of the building will be in the area of the public works buildings just north of town.

A variation request made by Valley Fiber was declined by council following presentations by two local residents and Tim Peters of Valley Fiber.

The residents shared concerns about the public utility building being located in the sightline of their property if the front yard setback reduction was approved.

Peters, representing Valley Fiber, indicated a willingness to accommodate and move forward without a variation approval.

Lagoon Expansion

With the completion of the new wastewater treatment facility still years away, Duval informed council that the Ritchot public works department has been working together with Manitoba Water Services on a plan to expand the lagoon, currently located near the landfill in Île-des-Chênes.

According to Duval, a 50/50 grant has been secured for this purpose.

Councillor Boulanger asked about the project, wondering if the current lagoon could just be maintained rather than expanded until the new treatment plant is functional.

Duval responded, indicating some longer-term thinking that happens to support the lagoon-expansion project.

“The idea is that if we expand [the lagoon] on the southern side of the Seine River diversion, that the north could [eventually] be used as extra landfill space,” Duval explained. “But we still need the environmental licensing to do that.”

Duval added that there will be no option to decommission any part of the lagoon until a time when the RM is fully operating under the upcoming wastewater treatment facility.

Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen