So let’s talk about regulations and the impact on residents in the RM of Morris. Most of the time people go about their work without paying much attention to the ever increasing interest on the part of larger government to creating a healthy and safe environment for citizens. The intent of the regulatory changes is almost never in doubt. Good example used often is Walkerton. The willingness of water plant operators to ignore common sense and apply a sense of responsibility to their actions has had an impact, both from a safety and financial perspective. Safer water is the goal and we have achieved this goal at some considerable cost.
Another good example although perhaps with less of real larger benefit in mind would be the onsite wastewater ejector regulations which were presented as an answer to a cleaner Lake Winnipeg. Fortunately some reason was allowed to enter the debate and a compromise set of rules were accepted.
On the horizon for new regulations is the proposed home warranty legislation which will be presented to the legislature in 2013. The impact of the new proposed rules will have a direct impact on anyone constructing or purchasing a new home. Home warranty rules will add cost to your new home and will have an impact on both builders and purchasers. Cost of this new regulation has been estimated anywhere from $2500 to $10 000. Despite all the discussion about the need for more affordable housing this new proposed legislation will do anything but make homes more affordable.
Management of wastewater in all communities is a huge challenge and costs are a major component of this challenge. The city of Winnipeg has been mandated to build a wastewater treatment plant that will cost approximately 1.5 billion dollars. Take note that’s billion not million. Cost per resident $2000. Expensive. The city has delayed the project because of cost. But the regulation and requirements are in place and the project will go ahead. Smaller communities all over Manitoba face the same challenge. Further development in the community of Lowe Farm will require an expanded wastewater lagoon site. Approximate cost is about $3 000 per resident. Rosenort will face a similar wastewater lagoon expansion in the next 2-5 years.
Our responsibilities as municipal leaders are to challenge regulations that appear punitive and unreasonable and to communicate the value and costs involved in regulation that we are required to accept. Water rate increases over the past year are an excellent example new increased and improved water quality regulations.
My advice to residents is to be aware of changes that will impact you through the use of our new website. We will provide our residents with the very best and latest information about decisions that will have an impact on you. Please tell us what we can do to improve the way in which we communicate with you.
To all: My wishes for a safe happy Christmas experience for everyone. Enjoy and appreciate time with family and friends. They have value above all else.
We will talk to you in the New Year