Reeve George Gray reflects on 2018

Reeve George Gray has enjoyed the last four years and believes he's the one to continue leading the RM of Dufferin into the future. (file photo)

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2018 has been a busy and successful year for the RM of Dufferin.

To recap the budget process for 2018, the reassessment for this year ended with the following average increases in most property assessments being 24.5% for farmland, 3.3% for residential and 4.7% for commercial.

In 2018, the RM of Dufferin was able to keep their tax increase to 2.08% and lower the mill rate to 9.979 and still accomplish all of the municipality’s commitments. With the cancellation of the Manitoba Road Improvement Program, the RM did not receive the $100,000 grant that was anticipated for road re-building projects, meaning the projects remain on the list for future years.

The machinery replacement program is ongoing as the RM continues to tailor the equipment to years kept and warranty. They experienced one of the driest summers in history and it has affected the Stephenfield Lake levels.

“We are hoping for enough snow to recharge the lake which everyone depends on,” said Reeve George Gray. “We are also aggressively pursuing a number of short and long-term options in the upper reaches of the watershed to hopefully provide the lake with an adequate water supply. Those options take time and money and we urge everyone who depends on the lake and Boyne River to conserve water whenever possible.”

Some of the highlights in the last 2 years have been the upgrade of the plant at Stephenfield Lake by Pembina Valley Water Coop to continue to provide high-quality water and the provision to meet higher demand for potable water. PVWC has also rolled out a drought plan for all the R.M’s involved in their distribution system. This plan will also be complemented by each R. M. as each municipality will be drafting their own in accordance with guidelines

Also, the Personal Care Home project proposed and funded by five RMs, Dufferin, Carman, Grey, Thompson and Roland, and the Province is reaching its final stages. Hopefully, there will be an announcement in the near future.

“In conjunction with the Town of Carman and the R.M. of Dufferin we have signed an agreement with Valley Fiber from Winkler to provide us with high-speed internet via fiber optics and a tower,” said Gray. “On that cooperative note we also recently ordered a new fire truck pumper to be delivered late 2019.

The RM will also continue to work co-operatively with Town of Carman on a number of projects that benefit both the Rural Municipality and the town of Carman. This allows both the town and RM residents to enjoy facilities and programs that benefit both at a reduced cost.

Gray adds they hope for a prosperous year as the community moves into the New Year.