Rhineland Municipality has taken the first official steps towards changing its ward system.

Council has given 1st and 2nd reading to a bylaw that will reduce the number of wards from six down to three.

The change is necessary as a result of municipal amalgamation which merged the communities of Gretna and Plum Coulee into the former RM of Rhineland.

"The province decreed that if councils did not want a ward system then all council members would be elected at large," said Rhineland reeve Don Wiebe. "Our council discussed this and decided that the municipality would best be served by a three-ward system."

Under the proposed new arrangement ratepayers in each of the three wards would elect two councillors, while the reeve will be elected at large, creating a seven-member council.

"Rhineland has ten townships, so Ward 1 would entail three townships located in the southeast part of the municipality and that would include the LUD of Gretna. Ward 2 would have three townships and would be on the western edge of the municipality and would include the LUD of Plum Coulee. Ward 3 would have four townships and would be located in the northeast part of the municipality and would include the LUD of Rosenfeld."

Wiebe expects Rhineland council will approve the new ward system shortly so in preperation for municipal elections scheduled for October of this year.