Improving drainage in Rhineland Municipality was a major priority for council in 2017.

Reeve Don Wiebe says heavy rainfall in 2016 revealed several problems with their municipal drainage system that needed to be improved upon. The municipality brought in a hydrologist this past year to assist them in re-designing some of those drains to better address the needs of landowners in the future.

"We're going to do a few more next year," said Wiebe. "We feel that this allows us to have more dialogue with producers and we can present a vision and complete plan, which also gives them a chance to provide input before we move forward."

Wiebe says their municipal crews did a near record amount of work on drainage maintenance requests across the municipality in 2017.

Meanwhile, Rhineland council spent a fair amount of time on policy development this past year, as they continue the work of establishing a set of unified policies following amalgamation.

Council drafted several policies that will provide direction for ratepayers in the future on a range of issues including drain tile.

Wiebe says council also put a fair amount of time into the municipality's asset management plan as required by the provincial government. He says that plan will likely be discussed at Rhineland's annual planning session to determine if any adjustments need to be made for the coming year.

The municipality also did a fair amount of work on its ward system over the past year in preparation for next year's civic elections.

Wiebe says council made the decision to stick to a ward system instead of an at-large system.

"We're down to two options which include a two ward system with kind east and west wards or a three ward system. In either case we would have six councilors and the reeve."

2017 saw several changes at the Rhineland council table. Two new councilors were elected in 2017 through by-elections. They included Brad Braun in Ward 1 and John Dyck in Ward 4.

Municipal elections in Manitoba are scheduled for October 24th, 2018.