Four municipalities in southeastern Manitoba are waiting to see whether our province will come through with additional funding for a regional wastewater treatment facility. 

Hanover, Tache, Ritchot, and Niverville make up the Red-Seine-Rat (RSR) Wastewater Cooperative. The group is planning a $190 million regional wastewater treatment facility to be constructed north of Niverville. 

In 2022, our provincial government committed $18 million towards the work. However, since then costs have climbed and RSR Board Chair Jim Funk says they have now asked for an additional $40 million. The request is for $10 million each year for four years; the length of time expected for construction. Funk, who is Reeve for Hanover, says they hope to go to tender in October of this year, suggesting construction of the project might then begin in 2025. 

Last Wednesday, Hanover Council welcomed a visitor from our provincial government and used the opportunity to discuss their funding request. As Southern Cabinet Leader for our provincial government, Brandon Burley met with Hanover Council. 

"I certainly felt that we were heard," says Funk, referring to their meeting with Burley. "He was very willing to take our calls or help whenever we need some information or possibly even representation at the government level."

Burley, who is the former Mayor of Morden, told Council that if residents of Hanover ever say that they cannot connect with the provincial government, they should let him know and he will do what he can to help out. 

Though RSR funding took up majority of their conversation, the two sides also discussed potential grant options for the Grunthal Arena retrofit and timelines both for bridge replacements and highway twinning projects in the municipality.

"I am going to be very optimistic, and I think Mr. Burley is going to try hard and help us along with that project," says Funk, referring to the Grunthal Arena.

Meanwhile, Funk applauds Premier Wab Kinew for selecting Burley for the position of Southern Cabinet Leader. 

"I think he made a very wise choice," notes Funk. "Mr. Burley is all ears in listening to both our municipality and I'm sure he will be listening to others also. We are very happy to have him represent us."

The first opportunity for funding could come Tuesday through the unveiling of the provincial budget.