Manitoba town votes against watermain connection plan

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water well photo
The town touted the benefits of installing and connecting to a watermain – namely safe, softer and tested drinking water, improved quality, and the addition of fire hydrants in the neighbourhood. Photo Credit: Grecaud Paul, stock.adobe.com

Seventy-nine per cent of residents in the Manitoba Town of Niverville have voted against connecting to a watermain in the town’s core, preferring to rely on well water for the foreseeable future.

The town touted the benefits of installing and connecting to a watermain – namely safe, softer and tested drinking water, improved quality, and the addition of fire hydrants in the neighbourhood.

Niverville received a $3-million grant from the Manitoba Water Services Board that covers 50% of installation costs for water mains and fire hydrants. It would not cover ratepayer costs for connecting a residence to the new watermain. Despite the rejection of the project, the grant will remain available for two years. 

“This gives us the opportunity to revisit this proposed project later when the cost of living has subsided,” announced Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck. “I want to say thank you to all the residents who took time to respond to this survey. Council listens to its residents and has decided to not proceed with this proposed project at this time.” 

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The survey yielded responses from roughly 51% of affected households, according to a city statement. The survey yielded responses from roughly 51% of affected households, according to a city statement. There are about 4,000 people living in Niverville. 

Currently, Niverville has a “Water Main Request Policy” that requires 80% of properties in the project parameter to agree in order for a water main installation to proceed. 

In information notices to residents, Niverville officials stated that, “As an affected ratepayer, this project would involve a substantial increase on your property tax bill as well as potential other costs down the road if you decide to connect to the new watermain.”

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