2021/22 budget deliberations continue for the Municipality of Rhineland.

As Reeve Don Wiebe explains, the process has been slowed somewhat due to an abbreviated planning session followed by a leave of absence by the Municipality's chief financial officer, a role being filled on a part time, interim basis.

"But nevertheless, the finance committee presented a draft budget to Council and it represents a marginal increase in the operating budget and a continued contribution to the asset management plan," explained Wiebe.

A series of capital projects are being considered for the coming fiscal year.

Among the list is a pair of large-scale drainage projects that will create two new drains in the municipality.

"The hydrology studies have been completed and the appropriate license will be obtained, and we'll also be doing the landowner consultation process," said Wiebe.

As well, officials continue to discuss options for a new or renovated fire hall in Plum Coulee.

Meantime, construction will begin shortly on the GNS East pump house, new sewer lift stations in Plum Coulee are currently being designed and Valley Fiber will proceed with internet installations across the municipality.

Wiebe adds a $4.8 million dollar federal/provincial grant for priority grain road upgrades remains under consideration as well. Officials had hoped the money would come through sooner but it has been delayed, and Wiebe says it's not likely to get approved this year.

Another draft budget will be presented at Council's next regular meeting. The community will have a chance to offer feedback on the document before it is approved with a public hearing to be scheduled for late March.