The Municipality of Rhineland is thrilled with MCC Manitoba's decision to keep its material resources warehouse in Plum Coulee open. The organization announced in January it would be closing the facility at the end of June, ending all volunteer activity at the building.

MCC Manitoba's Executive Director Darryl Loewen says there was a strong push from local volunteers and supporters to look for a way to maintain the operation. Loewen says they were able to do that by working out a new lease agreement with warehouse owners Paul McDonald and Ray Friesen.

Rhineland Reeve Don Wiebe says he had an opportunity to talk with Loewen about the warehouse situation in Plum Coulee.

The warehouse in Plum Coulee

"There was quite a bit of reaction in terms of disappointment from right across the region in terms of what MCC was doing. They came up with a new plan to reduce the amount of space that's needed. Manitoba MCC decided to keep the depot open. They thought it made sense to do that so they will still be collecting materials there and disposing of them wherever the destination is."

The Plum Coulee warehouse will only hold the materials that are produced and gathered in Manitoba, rather than warehousing materials from across western Canada when MCC Canada's role was active in that site.

"Certainly for Plum Coulee and for the volunteers, there was a real community commitment to this facility and to the work that was done," said Wiebe. "It's good news for Plum Coulee and good news for all of us because it's a way of extending our charity to places where it's needed. MCC has been very good at doing that kind of work so we're pleased that they found a way to keep the depot in Plum Coulee."

Wiebe noted that people from across the region reached out to MCC about the proposed closing of the warehouse.

"They wanted to see this open. MCC did a bit of a new strategic plan and came up with a plan that they thought would work. It's just now MCC Manitoba and not MCC Canada. This is a Manitoba project and it looks like it's going ahead which is very good."

MCC Canada and MCC Manitoba have jointly operated distribution of relief supplies and volunteer activities out of the warehouse in Plum Coulee since 2004 where it warehoused materials donated from across western Canada.