Three area fire departments are on the list of organizations receiving a $2,000 grant from Manitoba Ag Days this year.
Ochre River Fire Department will receive funding to help purchase a side-by-side grassland attack all-terrain vehicle to help in protecting the vast farmlands with difficult terrain under its care.
In addition, Ste. Rose Fire Department and Roblin Fire and Rescue will put their grants toward the purchase of grain rescue equipment.
The funds are supplied by the Ag Days Gives Back program through Manitoba Ag Days, which ran Jan. 17 to 19, at the Keystone Centre in Brandon. One hundred per cent of the 50/50 funds raised at the show are returned to community organizations throughout the province invested in agricultural education, as well as community fire departments.
This year the program awarded $29,000, bringing the total in its 10-year history to $376,500.
Other fire departments receiving support include Glenboro South Cypress Fire Department, Ste. Anne Fire Department, Whitemouth Fire Department, Edward Fire Department and Clandeboye Fire Department.
The Education and Leadership Grant of $10,000 was awarded to Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba, while $1,000 scholarships were provided to Rhett Grieve in the ACC Diploma program, Lacey Shirley Calder in the U of M Diploma program and Emily Rob in the U of M Degree program.
Manitoba Ag Days show is an annual three-day exposition of agriculture production expertise, technology and equipment that attracts exhibitors and visitors from across Canada and the U.S. held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon. Applications for the next round of Ag Days Gives Back grants and scholarships will open in the fall and be awarded at the 2024 show, which runs Jan. 16 to 18, 2024.
Some minor changes are being made to the structure of policing in the city with an officer currently assigned to the Crime Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) being reassigned to general policing duties.
City council approved the plan at its Jan. 13 regular meeting and will officially be making the request under the Municipal Policing Agreement.
In 2019, the City increased its compliment of officers from 14 to 15 in order to support a newly-created Investigative Support Team, which was tasked with combatting drugs and gang activity in the communities of Dauphin, Winnipegosis and Ste. Rose.
In 2020, the IST evolved into CREST, which is provincially funded and does the same type of work, but on a provincewide basis.
The City continued to fund the CREST position - the only municipality on the hook for funding - after the provincial government indicated that removing City dollars would result in that position being removed from CREST, a reduction the City did not want to see at the time.
“Council at the time said, ‘okay we’ll let it play out and see how it goes, right, wrong or otherwise,’” city manager Sharla Griffiths said. “This council is looking at more of a community policing. We want more boots on the ground in our community. We want to have that 15th officer in our community.”
The move, she said should not affect the service the City receives from the CREST.
“Each district has its own, and when other areas of the province need them, they go," Griffiths said. "So the process should be if Dauphin needs something, they’ll come from other parts of the province.”
The time was right to make the move, Griffiths said, as the city is preparing for the development and implementation of a Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan later this year.
The world of community service has evolved and Dauphin’s new mayor is hopeful that not only will his council be open to new possibilities, but that other community organizations will take a critical look at their operations.
From a City perspective, David Bosiak would like to see councillors spend their time on projects they are passionate about and that they actually add value to a group or organization with which they are working.
“I don’t want councillors to grudgingly have to go to inefficient or ineffectively operated meetings, to sit through meetings that information could have been shared in a different way,” Bosiak said. “Councillors’ time is valuable and we have lots of things on our plates. I want the time they spend engaging with groups to be as effective and efficient as possible.”
Like any municipality, the City of Dauphin has to make decisions based on available resources, Bosiak said, adding he wants to ensure those resources are properly targeted.
“So I want to ensure that council and staff time is spent very effectively, but also those organizations which we fund, whether it’s with operating grants or special grants, even things like letters of support, I want to ensure that it’s all legitimate,” he said. “That the organizations are running as effectively as they possibly can to meet their mandate. Not to bow down to the City, but to meet their desired mandate.”
As part of that, Bosiak is hoping all community organizations take an open and honest look at their operations to ensure the time they spend in meetings and the time spent engaging with volunteers is effective. Volunteers are a valuable resource, Bosiak said, and organizations across the board are struggling to attract and retain them.
“In my work history of dealing with organizations who are functional and dysfunctional there’s a common thread. Many of the dysfunctional organizations have an inefficient and ineffective use of their resources, be that people or time or money ,” he said. “So I’m just trying to get organizations to take an honest look to see if there are more efficient ways of being. I want groups to willingly, not forced, but willingly look at themselves and determine are we being as effective as we possibly can be? Because resources are tight. That’s people, money, time, it’s all tight.”
Bosiak added he did not undertake this exercise presupposing any outcomes and whether those reviews will result in any changes is unclear.
“That’s the irony or the uniqueness of this. I have no motive . . . not to reduce funding or to reduce the number of meetings or the length of meetings, if that’s not necessary. My real goal is to determine what is necessary and to spend as much time and energy on those things and not the distractions,” he said. “I’ve had meetings with all of the councillors to discuss their roles on the various committees they’re on and (encourage them) to work towards making them efficient. And efficient doesn’t mean less, necessarily, because a lot of people get scared. ‘oh you’re going to cut our funding.’ No it’s about making you be as good as you can possibly be.”
If there was any question that Dauphin residents were ready to celebrate the recent holiday season with family and friends following two years of pandemic lockdowns it was answered by the successful return of the local Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program.
While the numbers were still not quite at pre pandemic levels, program spokesperson Sarah Shuttleworth is pleased with the results.
“I was expecting the results to be a little bit lower than past years, of course, just because of the pandemic,” Shuttleworth said. “But I am happy with with the statistics for this year.”
This year, 48 volunteers worked a total of 725 hours during 145 shifts and safely transported 282 holiday revellers to their destination through 141 trips.
During RIDE’s last season in 2019, 47 volunteers worked 134 shifts during which they transported 357 passengers through 163 trips.
While the total number of trips decreased by 16 per cent and the average of 35 passengers per night in 2022 was down from the 51 counted in 2019, Shuttleworth was pleased to see the number of volunteers attracted by the program increase.
“I saw a lot of younger volunteers this year which was really nice. In past years, the age demographic has definitely been older when it comes to our volunteers. But this year there’s a lot of new volunteers and younger volunteers which was also nice,” she said, adding the number of people utilizing the Dauphin RIDE program reinforces the demand and need for the service.
Community support, awareness, promotion, and volunteerism is the driving factor of the program’s success, Shuttleworth said.
“It’s been 30 years and we’ve done well and it’s definitely nowhere near the end,” Shuittleworth said, thanking the program’s sponsors and supporters for the role they play in RIDE’s success. “It’s something that our community needs, obviously, it’s shown that through the statistics. So I’m hoping that it can continue for many years yet.”
A provincially-led program aimed at improving the quality of life in the community has the City of Dauphin anxiously awaiting word on when the promised assistance is forthcoming.
Dauphin was one of 12 communities selected last April to receive provincial funding to develop and implement a Community Safety and Well-being Plan (CSWP) following a successful pilot project in Thompson in 2019-20.
While the City had hoped the process would begin last summer, it is still waiting on the province to appoint a consultant and provide the approximately $100,000 in funding, half of which will be used to formulate the plan with the other half being to used to implement its initiatives.
“The delay is starting to become problematic in the sense that we’d love to get going on it and we have to hurry up and wait,” mayor David Bosiak said. “I just wish that the province would pull the trigger on this and let us go. Who knows, that call or email could come any day, but I can’t really say when that will happen.”
The City had informal discussions with Manitoba Justice late last year regarding the process, and was able to educate the department on the work, which is already underway in the community.
Over the last number of years, the Crisis Prevention Task Force and Under One Roof have been working to effectively co-ordinate social services with various providers and have had some success in the approach.
The City has also met with those local service providers and other community groups to inform them about the program and its process, as well as offer its leadership with respect to the plan and how it will fit into the community. To that end, the City has created a repository for organizations to populate with information they want to share with the group and for the purposes of the CSWP.
But despite the work that has been done, Bosiak is fearful that given the complexity of the program and the diversity of the communities involved - six Indigenous communities and six municipalities, all of different sizes and facing different issues - the province will attempt a “cookie cutter” approach that produces results adequate for all, but perfect for none.
The City, he added, is more interested in developing a plan tailormade for Dauphin.
“I’m hoping there’s some flexibility from our end once they see that we have capacity, we have capability. We have people already doing this, so let’s not spend time and money doing stuff we’ve already done,” Bosiak said “One of the things we’re hopeful of is once this process starts with the provincially-appointed or identified consultant, that we can quickly come to a place with them to say ‘okay, we don’t have to get a community meeting, we don’t have to get the partners lined up, we don’t have to inform them, because we’ve already been doing that for two or three years anyway.”
What the City is looking for from the consultant, Bosiak said, is advice on some implementation strategies, with input from it’s community partners.
“Maybe even to help us assess how well or not the current Under One Roof programming is going for us,” he said.
The City will host the next meeting of the social service providers and community groups, as part of the CSWP process, at the end of January or early February.
A group of Parkland residents have received a special honour courtesy of the Province of Manitoba and Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski.
At a special ceremony in Brandon last week, Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals were presented to Kay Slobodzian, Michelle Mazurkewich, Tony Safronetz, Bev Harvey, Carole Shankaruk, Alex Lytwyn, Al Gray and Rodney Juba were presented their medals by Lt-Gov. Anita Neville, Premier Heather Stefanson and Michaleski. Two other Dauphin residents, Brian Damsgaard and Jim Perchaluk were unable to attend the ceremony and will receive their medals at a later date.
Manitoba was one of five Canadian provinces to celebrate the 70th anniversary year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne through the medal program.
Read more in this week's Dauphin Herald!
Shelley Tokarchuk and Terrie Strong of the DRHC Cancer Care Community Program, celebrate a $1,200 donation from the Parkland Rangers AAA U18 team with players, from left, Chase Glover, Linden Smigelsky, Sam Swanton, Madden Murray, Kyler Swanton, Ryan Gower and Skyler Carriere. The donation stems from the Rangers’ “Hockey Fights Cancer” night held, Oct. 25, 2022.
The team raised a total of $3,600 from the special night with proceeds split between cancer programs in Dauphin, Russell and Swan River.
At back, Anish AR, a mental health proctor with Prairie Mountain Health and Shantelle Rank, a registered physchiatric nurse with PMH’s Dauphin Community Health Services, look on as Lori Bogoslowski, activity instructor with Dauphin’s HERO Club - with the support of club members Francis Jackson, left, and Kelly Marceniuk, centre, accepts a cheque for $1,000 from Fusion Credit Union’s Member Services supervisor Amber Fedirchuk and manager of Talent, Learning and Development Kelli Zeiler.
The money comes from Fusion’s Full Circle Fund, which props up communities served by the credit union, and will be used to construct a storage shed for the HERO Club’s hot dog cart.
The demolition of the old Acadamy Video location on Second Avenue Northeast hit a snag Thursday afternoon after crews from Stirling Enterprises hit a gas line, which was still charged though it was supposed to have been shut off.
Manitoba Hydro staff had the gas leak contained prior to the arrival of the Dauphin Fire Department on the scene and the demolition was able to continue.
The City of Dauphin is making some major investments in the collection and processing of refuse.
At its regular meeting, council approved an increase in the amount it is willing to pay for the purchase of a new garbage truck, as well as an investment in the refurbishing of the trash compactor at the Dauphin landfill site.
The City originally ordered a new garbage truck in 2021 after a tendering process which saw Peterbilt Manitoba awarded the contract at a price of $341,973.32 plus taxes with a delivery window of approximately 18 months.
When checking on the progress of the build last October, director of Public Works and Operations, Mike VanAlstyne, discovered the truck was not yet in production due to supply train issues.
Peterbilt Manitoba, he told councillors, was only allotted one of the four trucks it ordered. As well, VanAlstyne said in a memo, there have been extreme increases in pricing and surcharges being pushed through the system to the end user, which have resulted in a price jump of $74,038.57 for the City’s truck.
The company proposed a cost-sharing arrangement resulting in each absorbing $37,017.68 of the added costs. Peterbilt Manitoba, VanAlstyne added, is receiving no support from their factory or body suppliers. The company has also reserved a build slot for the City at the end of April meaning the truck would likely be available in September or October of this year.
“At this point this is the best solution we could see. We did get just some verbal quotes from another supplier and it was $120,000 increase for the same unit,” VanAlstyne said.
Council approved the added cost of $37,017.68 with the funds to be drawn from the Machinery and Equipment Reserve Fund.
The new purchase price is $378,991 plus applicable taxes.
“It has been a mess for everybody,” VanAlstyne said. “So we are expecting to see it this year.”
Council also approved an expenditure of $143,362.69 plus fees and taxes to refurbish the landfill compactor which is “requiring some significant work.”
The machine is leaking and burning significant amounts of engine oil, as well as leaking transmission fluid, VanAlstyne said.
The compactor is a 2006 model with approximately 12,000 hours. While it is climbing in age, the hours are low enough to justify the maintenance, VanAlstyne said, adding the City could conceivably expect another 10 years service from the machine if the repairs are made. A good used replacement unit, VanAlstyne said, could cost approximately $1 million, while new machines cost upwards of $1.5 million.
The city has secured quotes from Toromont CAT in Brandon to have the engine replaced and the transmission inspected while the machine is split apart. If further work on the transmission is needed, it may have to be rebuilt, as well. The quotes range in value from $87,170.26 plus fees and taxes for the engine replacement and transmission inspection, to $143,362.69 plus fees and taxes for the engine replacement and complete rebuild of the transmission.
Council approved an expenditure of up to $143,362.69 with the funds coming from the Machinery and Equipment Reserve Fund.