Dutch Elm Disease Surveys

Manitoba’s Agriculture and Resource Development’s Forestry Branch will be conducting Dutch Elm Disease Surveys and Invasive Forest Pest Monitoring in Altona

  • Dutch elm disease surveys and emerald ash borer monitoring will be moving forward again this season in participating communities.
  • Provincial surveyors will be driving or walking around both public and private properties while they work.
  • Surveyors wear high visibility vests and government issued identification. This year, staff may also be wearing masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE), due to COVID-19.
  • In support of physical distancing measures, staff may not approach every resident or house before entering onto properties to conduct surveys. 
  • Surveyors will still ring doorbells or knock on doors prior to taking branch samples, marking trees, or identifying firewood piles for removal.
  • Staff will always maintain at least two metres distance between themselves and others, and ask that residents respect this policy when approaching staff as well.

Contact the Manitoba Tree Line: 204-945-7866 or treeline@gov.mb.ca

Boil Water Advisory Lifted

On June 6, 2020, a boil water advisory was issued for the Town of Altona due to a distribution pump failure in the Red River Regional distribution system.

As of Monday, June 8, 2020, at 3:15 pm, the Town of Altona received notice that the Altona water system has met all conditions for rescinding the boil water advisory, and all bacteriological testing results meet regulatory standards. Town of Altona Water System clients may now resume normal water usage. Please note that this does not include clients of the Altona Rural Water Co-op system.

Boil Water Advisory

A distribution pump failure on June 6, 2020 has led to the loss of water pressure in a portion of the Red River Regional distribution system which supplies the Altona public water system. Distribution depressurization can compromise the safety of the water supply; therefore, a boil water advisory has been issued to ensure public health protection.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Until further notice, all water used for consumption should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute before it is used for:

  • Drinking and ice making
  • Beverage preparation, such as infant formula
  • Preparing food; including washing fruits and vegetables
  • Brushing teeth

It is not necessary to boil tap water used for other household purposes, such as laundry or washing dishes. Adults and older children that are able to avoid swallowing the water can wash, bathe, or shower. Young children should be sponge bathed. If boiling is not practical, an alternate and safe supply of water should be used for consumptive purposes (i.e., bottled water).

Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #1 – Boil Water Advisory For Drinking Water Only contains additional information on water use and can be found here, or at the website below.

All commercial, public and permitted facilities (i.e., restaurants, health care facilities, day cares, personal care homes and other private facilities that provide food and water services) must follow water use recommendations from the Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #3 – Boil Water Advisory For Commercial/Public Facilities. A copy of this Fact Sheet is available here, or on the website below.

To review Fact Sheets on water use, please go to www.manitoba.ca/drinkingwater or http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/water.html.

To avoid burn injuries from hot water, caution should be taken. Please keep young children away from boiling water. Place kettles and pots away from counter and stove edges.

Please share this information with other people who use the tap water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, renters, tenants, staff or clients). This notice can also be posted in common areas where people tend to gather.

DURATION

The Boil Water Advisory will remain in effect until at least Monday, June 8, 2020 in order to determine that the water supplied by this water system no longer presents a risk to public health. The public will be notified when the advisory has been rescinded. Residents are asked to consult the Town of Altona website (www.altona.ca) or social media (www.facebook.com/townofaltona).

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Town of Altona Administration Office at 204-324-6468, or the Regional Drinking Water Officer at 204-795-6908, or Health Links at 204-788-8200 (toll free at 1-888315-9257).

Municipal Property Taxes and COVID-19 Related Financial Hardship

Municipal Property Tax Bills have now been mailed out.

Many individuals and businesses in Altona are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the financial impact of the pandemic on the community, the Town of Altona Council decided to freeze 2020 municipal taxes to help ease the financial burden on taxpayers.

On April 3, 2020, the Province of Manitoba announced cash flow tax relief measures to Manitobans facing financial challenges. Among these measures, it would be working with municipalities to ensure that interest on provincial education taxes and school division fees would not be charged for those needing additional support. Municipalities were encouraged to do the same with respect to their own taxes.

In addition to the municipal tax freeze, Town Council decided to implement a Financial Hardship Interest Relief Program to support the Province’s cash flow tax relief measure. Interest on 2020 property taxes, due on July 31, 2020, will be waived for property owners experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial hardship refers to; individuals who have experienced loss of employment income; or, businesses whose continuity of operations are jeopardized. The relief from interest will be in place until September 30, 2020 unless the relief program is extended by a decision of the Town of Altona Council.

While there are no specific reporting requirements, individuals are asked to apply for interest relief by completing and signing the attached declaration form. Interest relief will not be applicable to other outstanding amounts including 2019 or prior year property taxes, utility bills or accounts payable to the Town of Altona.

This form may be submitted by email (info@altona.ca), fax (204-3241550), or mail to the Town of Altona Administration Office at PO Box 1630, Altona, MB, R0G 0B0. It may also be submitted by placing it in the drop-box at the Civic Centre (111 Centre Avenue, Altona MB).

Town of Altona/Rhineland Municipality Response to Racism

Our communities are deeply enriched by the diverse cultures and backgrounds of those who call Altona and Rhineland home. We, as your municipal leaders, are here to listen, learn, and act. Right now, members of our communities are hurting in response to the killing of George Floyd last week in Minnesota, the most recent in a string of murders of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour across North America.

All Canadians have a role to play in confronting systemic racism – this is not something that is only happening south of the border. Racism is a problem across Canada, across Manitoba, and right here in the Pembina Valley. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can say that racism does not belong in our communities, and put in the work to listen to and elevate the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, educate ourselves, and take action to break down systems of racism. We can refuse to stand by and be a part of the problem, and be a part of the solution instead.

Our local Chief of Police, Perry Batchelor, shared these words. “I was sickened and saddened by the actions of these former police officers, even worse hearing George Floyd’s final words, ‘I can’t breathe.’  Words that have become the mantra at demonstrations taking place around the world. I will not armchair quarterback this terrible situation, but I will say that it is important to speak out against racism and abuse; whether at the hands of police or a member of the public. I truly believe that we live in an incredible piece of Canada but also know we are not immune to racism. We can and must do our part to act against it. When you hear it or see it, be brave and speak out!”

One of the ways that we, as municipal leaders, receive information on issues like racism is from our local groups that focus on support for newcomers such as; Pembina Valley Local Immigration Partnership, the Altona and Area Immigration Coordinating Committee, Build A Village and Regional Connections. These partnerships help keep us informed about issues facing newcomers in our communities, but we acknowledge that racism is an issue that affects more than our newcomer population. We have begun building connections with our Indigenous neighbours from Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation, and know that we have more work to do.

We don’t have all of the answers, but we are listening. Let’s work together to keep our communities safe and welcoming for all.

Contact your Mayor or Reeve:

Mayor Al Friesen, Town of Altona
themayorsdesk@altona.ca

Reeve Don Wiebe, Rhineland Municipality
don.wiebe@rhinelandmb.ca

Reduced Speed School Zones Back in Effect

As of June 1st, 2020, schools in Altona are now seeing a limited return of students to classrooms for small group, in-person meetings with teachers throughout the day. While there are no buses, students may be walking or biking to school at any time during the day, which increases the need for reduced speed zones. Public Works has retired the “positive messages” sign wraps for now, and the Altona Police Service will resume enforcement of the 30 km/h reduced speed zones in Altona. Please drive slowly and be alert around schools to protect the children of our community!