RM of St. Andrews – lean, clean and green RM of St. Andrews Council priorities deliver positive results on ledger, projects and environment

Duncan Morrison, RM of St. Andrews

council has positioned the RM of St. An- drews for fiscal stability and growth op- portunities into the future,” said Pike. “As a council we have worked hard and we have worked collaboratively as a team to get the municipality into this enviable position.” Te RM of St. Andrews has nearly 12,000


residents that call the municipality home. St. Andrews runs along the Red River as it flows northward to and into Lake Win- nipeg between southern boundary at West St. Paul and the community of Winnipeg Beach to the north. Te RM of St. Andrews stretches west to the RM of Rockwood and the large wingspan of the municipality is a vital driver of Manitoba’s Interlake re- gional economy and a key contributor to the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region. Due to proximity to Winnipeg, the

southern portion of the RM of St. Andrews has more urban commuters among resi- dents, while the northern areas contain productive agricultural lands and the rural producers that work them as well as an inf lux of seasonal residents that spend summers around Lake Winnipeg. Pike says the bottom line is the RM of St. Andrews council represents all residents. “We believe in fiscal responsibility,”

said Pike. “Te 2018 RM of St. Andrews Financial Plan includes capital invest- ments which will go toward enhancing our capability to provide future services and obligations to our residents by investing in assets that will serve us well into the future.” Councillor Russ Paradoski represents

Ward 3 on the RM of St. Andrews council. Paradoski has been the Finance Chair on the St. Andrews Council since 2014, a natural role following a distinguished accounting and audit career as a Partner with BDO Canada. “When this Council was elected in 2014,

we started with a $4.5 million in reserve funds. Today, we still have that amount in reserve,” said Paradoski. “Additionally, we have achieved a zero increase to the RM of St. Andrews municipal portion of the taxes in three of our four-year terms, achieving nil increase in three of our four years with only a slight increase of 1.6 per cent in 2016. Tis is a significant achievement over four years to only increase municipal taxes 1.6 percent from the 2014 level.” Pike and Paradoski are believers in the

responsible governance priorities (see sidebar) the St. Andrews council is guided by when working on municipal business. Te elected officials take significant pride in the council’s commitment to maintain and improve services for municipality residents. One high-profile project that the sitting council brought into port was the South St. Andrews Wastewater Project connection, a project that had circled for 16 years before the council, federal and provincial government partners made it a reality. “When it comes to looking after our

water resources we must be cognizant of not only how our water stewardship efforts directly impact us today, but just as importantly, by what we leave for fu- ture generations to work and live with,” said Pike. “Tis project is a win-win on the economic and environmental fronts and moves the RM of St. Andrews in-step with other forward-thinking Manitoba municipalities for the greatest benefit for our RM’s citizens as well as the Province of Manitoba.” Two 2017 rulings by the Manitoba Mu-

nicipal Board ruled in favour of connect- ing the South St. Andrews Sewer Phases 1 and 2 to the existing St. Andrews-West St. Paul Regional Wastewater Forcemain. Te South St. Andrews Wastewater Project will bring reliable wastewater service to approximately 2,000 homes which previ- ously primarily relied on septic tanks and discharge fields. “Te Rural Municipality of St. Andrews

was responding to Provincial Legislation in Te Red River Corridor that does not

Autumn 2018

t. Andrews Mayor George Pike tells it like it is. “Responsible governance by our

allow the construction of new septic tanks and fields in the corridor. We didn’t make the rules, but we needed to follow them,” said Pike. “We were pleased with the Mu- nicipal Board’s diligence in handling these public hearings for our residents and that their rulings confirmed the diligence that our council have put forward on behalf of St. Andrews residents.” Pike singled out other projects underway

such as the expansion to the St. Andrews Airport, the municipality’s public works and fire department equipment additions, and renovations to the Rural Municipal Administration Building. And, he said, plans are afoot in the municipality for wastewater and recreation enhancement. “Te municipality has undertaken the

design of two new wastewater lagoon cells at our existing Petersfield Lagoon and we have received environmental approval for the design to be “shovel ready” for the expansion early in 2019,” said Pike. “Te municipality has completed a feasibil- ity study of the municipality’s recreation needs. One facility in the North will see extensive redesign including outdoor

Responsible governance

Te RM of St. Andrews council deliv-

ers Responsible Governance via the following 4 Principles:

1) Dedication to fiscal responsibility 2) Preference to not raising taxes

3) Commitment to maintain and im- prove services to our residents

4) Development and pursuit of strate- gic and beneficial partnerships

A focus on residents

Mayor George Pike of St. Andrews

says the RM of St. Andrews council is determined to maintain and improve services. Pike’s highlights include: Service Request Tracking: All ser-

vice requests are tracked, categorized and archived. Te Rural Municipality of St. Andrews has less than a ten per cent backlog of incoming requests. Public Works: The RM of St. An-

drews has recently carried out ditch- ing and drainage work that had not been done for decades. Fiscal Responsibility: With in-

athletic fields and a curling facility. Te area of Petersfield has produced curlers at the National Level of competition. In the south the municipality’s plan is to build a multi-use facility including baseball, soccer and a field house with walking and bike path access.”

creased work in the municipality, there is more staff and more equip- ment. Yet, the much-needed and overdue work is being completed at minimal increase to residents. St. Andrews municipal taxes increased only 1.6 per cent over four years.

Regional Times 9

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