Pembina Valley Reeves and Mayors: Messages of Positivity

Altona Mayor Al Friesen also serves on the Pembina Valley Reeves and Mayors Association.  At its most recent meeting, prior to the upgrade to “RED”, the attending Reeves and Mayors committed to sharing messages of positivity and encouragement, and yet also being clear about adhering to the provincial public health orders. 

Below is a clip of Winkler Mayor Martin Harder sharing a message of encouragement with his community. Here’s another reminder that together, we will get through this.

Altona Police Board Accepting Applications

The Town of Altona is accepting applications for the position of Citizen at Large to serve on the Altona Police Board.

Qualifications:

  • must be at least 18 years of age:
  • must be a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident:
  • must reside in or is employed in, or has a business interest in, the Town of Altona.

The selected applicant will be subject to a comprehensive background check. Remuneration will be by way of honorarium.

Persons interested may pick up applications at the Altona Town Administration Office at 111 Centre Avenue from Monday through Friday from 8:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Call 204-324-6468 to arrange pick-up, as our office is currently closed to the public.

Application deadline on or before the 30th of November, 2020.

Additional Closures

As of Monday, November 9th, 2020, the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region is moving into Critical (Red) on the Pandemic Response System. In response, the Town of Altona has made a few changes.

As of Saturday, November 7th, 2020, the Millennium Exhibition Centre and the Rhineland Pioneer Centre will be closed to the public. Those who had bookings scheduled will be contacted. Recreation programming will also be suspended until further notice.

As of Monday, November 9th, the Town of Altona Administration Office will again close to the public, as it did in March. Residents can continue to access services from the office by calling 204-324-6468, through the website, or by emailing info@altona.ca.

These measures are being taken with the safety of our staff and community in mind, and in compliance with public health orders. The Town staff will continue to be hard at work delivering essential services, and keeping the community connected and informed.

Solid Waste Special Service Plan – Second Draft

The Town of Altona Council has scheduled a public hearing on December 8, 2020 at 6:00 pm to present the special service plan proposal for collection of solid waste, recyclable materials, and compostable materials and the operation of the landfill site. Please see the attached Public Notice and Bylaw Draft for more information.

Updated COVID-19 Precautions

The Town of Altona will require masks within all indoor town facilities, starting on October 19th, 2020.

Masks that cover the nose, mouth and chin without gapping will be required for the public to enter the Millennium Exhibition Centre, and the Altona Civic Centre. This decision was made by Town Council in their meeting on October 13th as a measure to keep staff and the community safe while keeping facilities open to the public.

The decision also aligns with Return to Play protocols from Hockey Manitoba and Skate Canada Manitoba, which require participants to wear masks within arenas such as the Millennium Exhibition Centre. Mandating masks in that facility will create consistency for all users.

“There is a time to lead, and a time to follow. That’s how council members approached the most recent discussion regarding the use of masks.  And overwhelmingly council and staff felt that the wearing of masks requirement would provide additional safety for our staff, consistent with our user groups who have already mandated the use of masks. The recent surge of COVID cases in Manitoba was also a factor in our decision, prompting the comment, do we wait and react when those increased cases arrive here? Or do we take concrete measures now?  We ultimately decided that standing on the sidelines was not in the best interests of the community, and together with the endorsement of administration, we proceeded.”

Mayor Al Friesen

Face masks must be worn over the mouth, nose and chin at all times within the indoor town facilities with the following exemptions:

  • Children under the age of five
  • Individuals with medical conditions preventing them from safely wearing a mask
  • Individuals who are unable to put on or take off a mask without assistance

Visitors to the facilities are permitted to temporarily remove their mask if they are:

  • Receiving a service that requires removal of their mask
  • Actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity (e.g.: on the ice surface, running on the indoor track, participating in a fitness program)
  • Consuming food or drink
  • Needing to remove it for an emergency or medical purpose
  • Establishing their identity
  • Town staff who are working alone in a space with restricted access, such as a private office or open workspace with appropriate physical distancing measures in place, or travelling alone in a Town vehicle.

The Altona Public Works Shop and the Altona Rhineland Emergency Services Fire Hall will remain closed to the public at this time.

Residents are reminded that most services at the Altona Civic Centre Administration Office can be accessed online, or over the phone at 204-324-6468

Altona Votes Yes on Retail Cannabis

The Town of Altona should allow licensed cannabis stores within Town limits, said voters in the plebiscite held on October 14th, 2020.

1,155 voters cast their ballots in the polls, including advanced polls on October 8th, 2020, mail in ballots, and mobile polling stations. That is a voter turnout of just over 36%. Of those 1,155 voters, 692 voted “yes” to the question: “should licensed retail cannabis stores be allowed in Altona?”.

“Town Council is encouraged by the response of Altona Residents,” said Mayor Friesen. “We had supported the original decision to not oppose the establishment of a retail cannabis operation for what we felt were valid reasons of growth, progress and safety for residents of all ages, and feel validated that the community agreed with our goal of moving forward.  We thank those who weighed the pros and cons and especially the over 800 viewers of our Conversation on Cannabis livestream and cast their ballot accordingly.”

The plebiscite was called following a petition from the community that was presented earlier this year. The plebiscite was initially set for May of 2020, but was pushed back to October to better prepare safety precautions regarding COVID-19.

While the primary retailer chosen by the Province of Manitoba for the community has gone in a different direction, the secondary retailer will now be contacted.

  Yes No Total Votes
Poll 1 226 136 362
Poll 2 197 143 340
Mobile Poll 1 37 62 99
Mobile Poll 2 14 31 45
Advanced Poll 218 91 309
       
Total 692 463 1155

Planned Power Outage

We’ve been informed by Manitoba Hydro of an upcoming planned power outage. On Wednesday, October 14, 2020 from 6:30 – 7:30 am, and 10:30 – 11:30 am, a planned power outage will affect 736 hydro customers in Altona, in the south end of town.

Visit https://account.hydro.mb.ca/Portal/outeroutage.aspx to learn more.

Solid Waste Special Service Plan By-Law Draft

You will have received or will be receiving a letter in the mail regarding the upcoming public hearing on October 27th, 2020 regarding the Solid Waste Special Service Plan. Please see the proposed by-law in full below:

You can learn more about upcoming meetings, including public hearings here: Upcoming Agendas and Public Hearings

Soap Stock Decommissioning Agreement Reached

The Town of Altona, Rhineland Municipality, and Bunge Canada have come to an agreement regarding the decommissioning of soap stock ponds at the Waste Disposal Site. The decommissioning plan has been approved by Manitoba Conservation and Climate, and will commence in early 2021.

This agreement has been under discussion for several months, but the issue dates back several decades. Coming to a resolution is a positive step forward for all parties involved.

Temporary Closure of 4th St SW

A manhole on 4th St SW is being replaced, which requires the closure of a section of road for up to five days next week. The north end of 4th St SW in Altona, from Centre Avenue to the north side of Westwood Crescent, will be closed for the week of Monday, August 31st – Friday, September 4th.

This construction is part of the Manitoba Water Services Board cost-sharing project that the Town of Altona is undertaking this year. This project will also see the replacement of two sixty year old concrete lift stations, one in the southwest corner and one in the southeast corner. Lift stations are facilities designed to move wastewater from lower to higher elevation, and are crucial in the operation of a sewer system. The two lift stations will be replaced by brand-new fibreglass lift stations, which are larger and allow for more efficient pumping.

Residents may recall the sewer main break that occurred last October along this stretch of road, cancelling classes at École Elmwood School and closing the road for repairs. The issue was temporarily repaired last fall, with the intention of replacing the manhole this year to ensure a long-lasting solution.

Heavy equipment has moved into other areas of the southwest corner in preparation for construction, and residents are asked to be aware that traffic may at times be diverted to maintain public safety and a safe work environment for the contractors.