Municipality of Rhineland council has taken another step towards enforcing local by-laws and is preparing to sign a deal with Canadian security firm, Commissionaires.

The move echoes a similar decision made by the R.M. of Stanley in May. In fact, the two municipalities worked together to develop a common set of by-laws in five areas; animals, parking, derelict vehicles, unsightly yards and burning, with early intentions of hiring a joint by-law officer.

"When both municipalities looked at this option, and these Commissionaires seem to have experience with by-law enforcement...we thought that would be a good way to start," said Rhineland Reeve Don Wiebe.

Currently, complaints are dealt with by municipal staff.

Once they've been edited by legal experts, the finalized by-laws will be compliant with the Manitoba By-Law Enforcement Act - the ticketing method in which the rules will be enforced. The act aims to keep some cases out of court by giving municipalities the ability to process and resolve parking violations and other by-law infractions through administrative penalties.

"We had a presentation by the Commissionaires and they do that kind of thing," said Wiebe. "We were impressed with the expertise that they presented and so we said, let's try this for a year."

Council did consider hiring the Altona Police Service for the job, however, Wiebe says the agency wasn't prepared to entertain the proposal at this time. He also indicated there are still too many unknowns with regards to the province's upcoming review of the Police Services Act.

"So this (hiring Commissionaires) gives us a bit of time to try something and we'll see where it takes us," said Wiebe.

The agreement will see trained professionals from Winnipeg called out on a case-by-case basis. The cost of the contract over the next year is estimated to be between $10,000 to $15,000 plus mileage and is heavily dependant on the number of hours of service that are required to enforce the by-laws.

Wiebe expects officers will get to work in the fall.

Related article: Commissionaires To Handle Stanley By-Law Enforcement