Ritchot readies major infrastructure projects
In light of the release of the province’s 2023 budget, Ritchot’s council has voted in favour of advancing to the first stage of three major projects in the RM. Engineering firm WSP will be tendered in the coming weeks to develop predesigns and final designs for rebuilding Île-des-Chênes’s Main Street, mechanizing the Randolph well site, and upgrading the municipality’s water treatment plant.
IDC Main Street Revitalization
At council’s March 7 public meeting, Mayor Chris Ewen advised that residents shouldn’t get their hopes up for a quick fix to IDC’s Main Street woes just yet. The design phase is merely the first step in readying the project for such a time as the province decides to act.
Public works manager Mike Dumaine says that the RM has been working with the province to secure funding for the project for some time.
“There was some funding available to do kind of just a mill and fill,” Dumaine says. “But we want to reconstruct the entire Main Street, as it hasn’t been done for the last 40 to 50 years.”
The push is to get the province to provide funding for a major overhaul to the pavement in order to bring it back up to provincially regulated standards. In its current state, Dumaine says, it falls well below those standards.
At the point when restoration is complete, he adds, the RM will apply to the province for municipal jurisdiction over Main Street going forward.
Dumaine is hopeful that the project will be recognized within Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure’s latest multi-year infrastructure investment strategy.
Randolph Well Mechanization
Another project hopefully underway soon is the mechanization of two wells in the Randolph area which service Ritchot residents.
Working collaboratively with Friesen Drillers and Landmark Planning and Design Inc., Dumaine says that an application has been submitted to the province which would give Ritchot license to add mechanized pumps to a system which currently operates strictly by natural artesian flow.
“We’re hoping to get a little bit of additional water from that site to a maximum of 25 litres per second,” Dumaine says. “[This would give us] the consistent flow that we need for our water treatment process.”
Dumaine says that the flow from this site has proven insufficient in past years, especially during summer dry spells. Adding pumps would bring the Randolph wells to much the same flow capacity as the RM’s third and final well located near Highway 305.
Water Treatment Plant Upgrades
Naturally, improving the well flow leads to needed improvements at the water treatment plant where the entirety of the RM’s water is processed.
“Once we get the go-ahead about the Randolph well site, which is our number one project,” he says, “we can upgrade our water treatment plant and add about three manganese greensand pressure filters so we can maximize our treatment process to approximately 55 to 60 litres per second.”
Like the IDC Main Street project, Dumaine is hopeful that the province’s Water Services Board will look favourably on these important infrastructure projects in the coming months.
Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen