The Reeve for the Municipality of Rhineland is welcoming the Province's announcement of an additional $15 million, one-time grant for municipalities to support road repairs.
The program, announced Monday by Premier Heather Stefanson, will provide municipalities with financial support for road reconstruction, rehabilitation and preservation projects. The money will be distributed to Manitoba's 137 municipalities on a per-capita basis.
"Any kind of support like that will be very, very helpful," said Don Wiebe. "It's a very good gesture and we certainly will make use of that."
"This is Spring coming, and in Spring we need access to all of our roads to accommodate the ag sector and so, this is very timely for us and we are just waiting to get going on that challenge of putting our roads back in shape. The recent rains don't help. It delays that whole thing."
According to Wiebe, Rhineland's roads took an incredible beating this winter and spring, and crews are struggling to get them back into shape.
"We have some soft spots on all of them. There are stretches that are in really good shape...but these rains softened things up again, and the problem is once you get ruts and the water fills them, it gets softer and softer," he explained. "It seems like just when we're beginning to catch up and things look better, we manage to do some grading and smooth out the roads and get them to drain a little better, but they're soft. The ruts and the rain just aren't a good combination."
Currently, crews are assessing where all of the potholes and soft spots are, and will come up with a cost estimate of what it will take to make the repairs.
Wiebe was asked if any of the work would include mitigating these issues in the future.
"If that works, yes, we would certainly try to put them back so this is not a perennial problem. If there is a chance that this can be a preservation project, certainly we would be interested in that because that's where you get your best bang for your dollar if we can fix them in such a way that it doesn't happen again."
While the grant doesn't include drain rehabilitation, Wiebe says Rhineland's assessment will include the work that needs to be done in that area as well.