Looking back on 2021, the Reeve for the Municipality of Rhineland says there where two elements that influenced most of the year.
The first, according to Don Wiebe, was the ongoing pandemic.
"Although COVID restrictions are now somewhat more relaxed, the use of community facilities is still far below normal," said Wiebe. "Hopefully, with a decrease in the rate of infections, our bookings will increase. We also hope that our health care system will begin to recover from current stress load."
The second, was the water restrictions put in place in response to this summer's drought.
"As Council, we greatly appreciated the effort that was made by all those who helped reduce the consumption of drinking water. This includes are ag producers who used non-potable water for their spraying needs," said Wiebe.
"Hopefully going forward, our new reservoirs will help to mitigate this water shortage. Certainly, Rhineland is advocating for a long term, sustainable supply of potable water for domestic and agricultural needs. That's one of our top priorities going forward," he added.
The $3.2 million GNS East reservoir and pumping station expansion got up and running at the end of the year, and finishing touches were completed on the $3 million construction of a new and bigger facility in Plum Coulee.
In addition, a few drainage projects were completed in the municipality this past year, beyond regular maintenance work.
One, as highlighted by Wiebe, was a new field drain bordering the west and south sides of Section 32, Township 1, Range 2, which flows into the South Buffalo Channel.
"This is a big project. It was in response to a long standing concern with respect to localized flooding and all of the crop damages that go along with that," said Wiebe. "I guess where we're at in terms of our drought pattern, this sounds strange to say, but we are looking forward to see how that new drain will accommodate the drainage and also, we know that it will accommodate the tile drainage."
As well, Rhineland partnered with the RM of Morris and Municipality of Montcalm to build a drain in the north east corner of the municipality.
Council has also agreed to buy a Wolverine dirt blower in order to effectively and efficiently remove blow dirt from area ditches moving forward. It can also be used to recondition dirt roads.