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New Way to Share Resources

Posted: July 15, 2015

Planning and development agreement will give municipalities new tools to work together. 
With limited resources available to municipalities, communities surrounding Winnipeg have signed an agreement that should help the region as a whole.
East St. Paul was among the 16 municipalities who signed a long-term planning and development agreement under the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region on June 25. With the City of Winnipeg as the largest member, the region has 70 per cent of Manitoba’s population and is responsible for 70 per cent of the province’s economic activity.

Mayor Shelley Hart said that as the smallest RM in the capital region, East St. Paul will benefit from sharing resources with its neighbours.
"The partnership is trying to establish more of a holistic partnership," Hart said. "Whatever we do, we think of it in the greater picture of the capital region and not just our individual municipalities.
"PCMR executive director Colleen Sklar told Canstar Community News that saving money is a possibility especially among neighbouring municipalities. "Instead of spending money on A, B or C, it could be ‘Can we use your A, and we’re going to put our C here,’" she said. "It’s a win-win for everyone."
Hart added the partnership will allow municipalities to save money when purchasing necessary materials, such as culverts.
"All RMs need culverts," she said. "If we join together to purchase them on behalf on the entire capital region, we’ll be able to get a better deal. It also gives us an opportunity to purchase in bigger quantity for a lower cost."
Hart said working together with the City of Winnipeg and surrounding RMs on long-term planning could also help improve services for community members throughout the capital region. She said that right now, East St. Paul is working on a feasibility study for a new rec centre, which includes an outdoor swimming pool.
Alone, East St. Paul probably couldn’t afford an outdoor swimming pool. But, Hart said, she has invited the RMs of St. Clements and Springfield to the table of planning sessions, as it is likely residents from both communities would make use of the facility.
"If we include an outdoor pool in our rec centre, we now have ability to draw on the  municipalities around us. We now have a much higher success rate if we have more people. If we’re going to look to government to help us fund, we have a greater chance of working co-operatively to get a bigger bang for our buck."
Hart also said that planning across municipal lines would also help reduce miscommunications between governments, such as the recent "controversy" around connecting an active transportation route from North Kildonan to East St. Paul by way of an at grade level crossing included in the upgrades to intersection of the Perimeter Highway and Highway 59.
For more information on the PMCR, go to www.manitobacapitalregion.ca
Supplied photo Officials from the 16 municipalities within the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region
signed a long-term planning and development agreement on June 25.  East St. Paul Mayor Shelley Hart
pictured fourth from the left.

Article taken from the Winnipeg Free Press


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