While watching their town grow by leaps and bounds, Niverville Council has not forgotten about the original homes and streets and their need for fire protection.  

At Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, a motion was brought forward that would permit the installation of water mains and fire hydrants to approximately 730 properties, currently not serviced by water.  

The motion also included, “Council has submitted a request for funding to the Manitoba Water Services Board for 50/50 cost sharing of the project to a maximum amount of $6 million.”  

The motion was moved by Councilor Nathan Dueck and seconded by Councilor Chris Wiebe.  

After this Councilor Wiebe asked if the 50% requested from the province was from the $6 million dollars cost of the project. To which C.A.O. Eric King quickly replied that the $6 million would be split between the province and the town and that the amount of $3 million each, is expected to be “at the very, very, very high end of the price tag.”  

King also noted that this was for 77 fire hydrants. 

Mayor Myron Dyck noted that “we (the council) will have more information coming forward shortly. Right now, it's just in the preliminary stages of seeing what it would take to bring water to those streets and homes that currently do not have access to town water. Obviously, we understand there'll be concerns about cost. How it will impact dollars and cents. What about watering my lawn?” 

Dyck says many property owners still have 2 meters on their houses. One is that they can still water their lawns using their well and the other is to access town water. This will still be possible after the new water mains have been installed and the hydrants are put in place.  

Dyck notes that each homeowner can still choose not to connect from the main to the home, “that will be something that we can talk about further if the homeowners still wish to do that.“ 

The motion was unanimously carried.

Niverville firefighters getting water from one of the town lakes Niverville firefighters getting water from one of the town lakes instead of from a fire hydrant. (Photo credit: Niverville Fire & EMS) 

In a discussion afterward, Councilor Nathan Dueck added, “the main purpose that we're spending money to bring fire hydrants to unserviced areas, is for fire protection, which will benefit the residents of the town as well as helping reduce the cost of their insurance and then making sure that Niverville is a safer place live, because we have a responsibility, as Council, to protect residents from fires by making sure our fire department can have better access to them with hydrants.” 

Dueck reiterates that first, the idea of adding water mains and fire hydrants needs to be passed by town council before they can apply for the grant.  

He also notes that, before they can apply for the grant money, they will need to do an engineering report on the whole scenario. “So, if we don't take step number one, we never really get past to second base, which is effectively the exploration of the project which then gives us the ability to start making a report and figuring out what it's going to cost in actuality to do it.” 

Dueck says that the number of fire hydrants needed won’t increase, because of the expediential growth of Niverville, rather, any new properties going online are all going to be fire protected and already have fire hydrants installed.  

“So, really the only purpose of this whole entire scenario is to deal with fire prevention and bring safety to our community and bring us to a higher standard that we're required to, theoretically by law, to make sure that we do the best that we can to protect people's homes and their investments.”