A number of large-scale projects in the Municipality of Rhineland continue to make progress.

At its latest regular meeting, Council awarded the tender for the GNS East Reservoir expansion to Penn-Co Construction in the amount of $2,754,602 with an estimated completion date is August 31st, 2021.

"Which means construction will start as soon as possible," said Reeve Don Wiebe.

Currently, the GNS East facility has a 400 cubic meter storage capacity and services the southern portion of the municipality including the L.U.D. of Gretna. According to Wiebe, demand on the system during peak season is three times its capacity - drawing 1,200 cubic meters of water daily. Based on the latest growth projections for the municipality, the expanded reservoir will ensure a two day supply in the high season 20 years down the road.

As well, Wiebe noted the extra capacity will take the pressure off of the Pembina Valley Water Co-op's plant at Letellier during peak times.

Meantime, a $3 million reservoir pumping station is set to come online shortly in Plum Coulee.

Crews broke ground on the facility in Summer 2020.

"We were hoping to be in operation by now but there were some delays in the fall," explained Wiebe, "but now we've got a report that it should be opening close to the end of February."

The project is going up just east of the current storage facility, next to Highway 14, and will improve water service in Plum Coulee, and the rural area to the north and west all the way up to the Rhineland West Ag Park west of Winkler on Highway 14. The larger facility will also provide adequate fire control within Plum Coulee.

Finally, Wiebe says planning continues for a pair of sewer lift station upgrades slated for Plum Coulee.

The Manitoba Water Services Board (MWSB) announced in the fall that it had approved a 50/50 cost-sharing grant for the River Avenue and Arena Road facilities which were listed on Council's long-term planning submission to the MWSB.

"We're working on specking it out...we'll have an update pretty soon," noted Wiebe.

According to Wiebe, the two upgraded lift stations will accommodate growth in Plum Coulee East, and allow the 37-lot development planned for the south side of town to move forward unimpeded.