Council for the Municipality of Rhineland has opted to keep local urban districts as part of its municipal structure.
The decision is in response to an amalgamation agreement made eight years ago when the town's of Plum Coulee and Gretna joined the former R.M. of Rhineland.
"One of the frameworks that appealed to the existing councils at the time, both Gretna and Plum Coulee, was the idea of LUDs," explained Reeve Don Wiebe. He noted, the Village of Rosenfeld was converted from a Local Governing District to an LUD at the time as well. "At the time of amalgamation, there was a time period where council could reconsider to have LUDs or not. So, now after this eight year experiment we said, 'yeah, we think they serve a purpose'."
That purpose, added Wiebe, is the chance to influence what happens in their communities.
"For example, one of the big things they do is come up with a service plan. In other words, they set the (annual) budget for the LUD and bring it to Council for adoption," he explained. "If there's a particular need in the community that comes up, they can lobby Council for recognition and support. It's just a way for Council's for to connect with the community, and we think that can serve us well."
LUD committees also have regular access to the Municipalities administration team and resources.
Wiebe noted, this is considered a permanent decision, as long as long local interest remains in serving on the LUD committees.
Moving forward, the Reeve says continued dialogue will be a big focus of the ongoing relationships between Council and the LUDs.
"As we understand each others' roles better after eight years, and going forward we've been talking about what should the committees, the Council, be doing to increase some dialogue...we will be having ongoing discussions on how we move forward and how we can be supportive of those communities."