The Municipality of Rhineland is collaborating on a drainage project with its neighbour south of the Canada/U.S. border.

Council has approved a plan that would see the Pembina County Water Commission in North Dakota clean out 8.5 miles of the ditch that runs along the Border Road from the Aux Marais crossing going west.

"We had some requests from along the Border saying this drain needs to be cleaned out," explained Don Wiebe, reeve for the Municipality of Rhineland. "We (also) toured the drain a number of times and yeah, it needs maintenance."

Discussions between the two local governments got underway in 2019 and Pembina County officials ordered an engineering report, the results of which call for the drain to be cleaned out to its original standard. The last time this work was done to this level was in 1999.

According to Wiebe, considerable erosion over the years has disrupted the flow of water along the drain. He noted these improvements will certainly help with excess moisture in the spring, as well as direct water from heavy summer rains.

The engineered estimated cost of the project is $175,000 USD. As per a long-standing agreement between the two local governments, the Municipality of Rhineland will cover 60% of the price tag.

"Council decided yes, we had been advocating for this work, it needs to be done and they will bill us accordingly," added Wiebe.

Work is expected to get underway shortly.