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Area municipal officials had the opportunity to meet with the new executive of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM). Representatives with the Municipality of Rhineland and officials from the Town of Altona each sat down with president Ralph Groening, and vice presidents Kam Blight and Brad Saluk during the trio's recent stop in Altona.

Rhineland officials used their session to press for more information on a handful of provincial initiatives coming down the pike.

One such topic was the impending provincial policing review and what it will mean for the future of policing services in Plum Coulee and the municipality as a whole.

"We were wondering what the AMM was aware of. They said yes they knew it was coming but they were not yet aware either of what the parameters of the review would be," said Reeve Don Wiebe.

al friesen1 2018 smallinsert"It was a chance to listen and learn, and communicate our desires or concerns," said Friesen.Planned infrastructure spending and the government's upcoming Water Rights Management legislation also came up for discussion. The delegation also inquired about the future of the Municipal Road and Bridge Program, which municipalities have called to be reinstated after the province axed it in June.

"They were optimistic that, (while) some of the parameters may change a little bit, there would be some return of some of the grant money. So that's good for us," added Wiebe.

He noted there has also been talk swirling of the province looking to shift responsibility of some provincial roads on to municipalities and says the Rhineland delegation wanted to know what AMM knew about this.

"If there is a better way of doing things...we're certainly open to being partners in that and we want to support the government in doing things as efficiently as possible."

Meantime, Altona's mayor says some previous concerns were re-hashed during their meeting with AMM.

Al Friesen said that list also included the province's impending policing review, as well as town's desire to see government help in restoring Main Street. He noted the challenge of budgeting for updated emergency communication equipment in order to accommodate the province's planned revamp of its communications system also came up.

"It was a chance to listen and learn, and communicate our desires or concerns," he explained. "For us, there were areas that we could communicate to them (AMM) and see how that stacked up to the rest of the province."

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