Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton delivered financial support to the Village of Dunnottar Jan. 26 from the government of Manitoba, for its ongoing sustainability plan.
By Twyla Siple
The province announced it would be providing more than $1.4 million in grants to projects for community oriented revitalization amd development projects, Jan. 19.
Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton delivered a piece of that pie to the Village of Dunnottar to help support its ongoing sustainability plan in the amount of $19,170, Jan. 26.
“There we go, partnership” said Wharton, as he handed the government cheque over to Mayor Rick Gamble.
“We have a lot of issues that are coming to the forefront with climate and water and food will be a huge one, in the future,” said Gamble of his village’s regional concerns.
To plan for a sustainable community, Dunnottar developed an “extensive collaborative process” with the community through public meetings, and created four working groups based upon what they believe are their four pillars of sustainablity: environmental, economic, socio-cultural and communty alignment.
The plan was community driven, and council stayed at “arms-length” to get input from the residents, according to Gamble.
Each working group took a “critical” look at the village’s current state and its aspirations for the future, and actions have been defined for achieving both short and long term goals, such as clean, potable drinking water, which in Dunnottar, comes from underground carbonate aquifiers that sometimes rise and flow into what are known as artesian wells. Their actions to ensure sustainable drinking water include educating residents about septic tank maintenance, and to implement sustainable drainage practices to “discourage the dicharge of greywater into ditches”.
“We wanted to get our plan done and use it as a template,” said Gamble. “And we hope once we get ours competed which will be by the summer, I hope — make it regional and we can involve Winnipeg Beach and Gimli and Arborg.”
The actions defined by each working group were organized into eight main themes: water quality, natural areas stewardship, green infastructure and renewable energy, local economy, heritage, wellness, community connections and financial. The plan was organized based on these common themes rather than by the four pillars to emphasize the balance and interconnectedness between the priorities of the community. The plan identified a unified vision for the future of Dunnottar for the next 25 to 30 years, and will provide guidance to the village and its community partners, and act as a framework for developing and implementing sustainable strategies and initiatives.