The Council for the Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet is pleased to present its Municipal Strategic Plan, which will be used by Council and staff to guide its activities over the next two years (2016 - 2018). The following document is the culmination of months of work and represents Council's shared vision for the future. The document, although revised, is a continuation of the strategic planning process first instituted by the council in 2002.
Under the Manitoba Municipal Act, the role of Council is to "provide good government". Therefore, to achieve this objective, it is important that the Council plot its course for the future.
In today's fast-paced environment, it is imperative that every organization, whether private or public sector, operate on sound business principles and plot its course of action through the development of a strategic plan. The plan is designed to take the organization from where it is today, to where it wants to be tomorrow.
John C. Maxwell, founder of INJOY, a San Diego-based leadership organization, states that, "where there is no vision for the future, there is no power for the present". To this end, a strategic plan is crucial element to the municipality's current and future successes.
More importantly, however, the plan should adequately describe the steps that will be taken in order for the organization to reach its ultimate destination. Just like a carpenter would never consider building a house without a blueprint, nor should any business enter the unknown future devoid of a strategy.
This plan will serve as the foundation upon which Council bases its future decision making from strategic, operational and financial perspectives. Although the plan is extremely comprehensive, it is certainly not cast in stone. Therefore, it remains very fluid and adaptable, making it simple to review and update on an annual basis.
As you peruse this document, you will see that it covers a broad range of issues, which Council believes are important to the citizens of our community. Any comments or questions concerning the Strategic Plan should be directed to the Reeve and Council at 345-2619, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to:
Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet
Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba
2016-2018 STRATEGIC PLAN Amended October 2017
Historical & Geographical Overview
The Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet was incorporated in 1917, with Council holding its first meeting on June 5th of that year.
During its formative years, transportation (roads) was seen as a major priority by the Council of the day. Even then, Council realized that a network of all-season roads was vital in servicing the needs of local farmers and providing them with access to the major markets and transportation links in Winnipeg. Likewise, a major artery connecting Lac du Bonnet with Winnipeg was viewed as a critical requirement for promoting summer tourism in eastern Manitoba.
From a geographical perspective, the municipality is situated approximately 1.5 hours north east of Winnipeg, where prairie farmland in the west meets the boreal forest and granite outcropping of the Canadian Shield in the eastern portion of the R.M. Today the Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet encompasses approximately 460 square miles of land. A large portion of the R.M. includes waters of the Winnipeg River and its tributaries, making the region a Mecca to outdoor enthusiasts. Moreover, the municipality is ideally situated between two provincial parks: Nopiming Provincial Park to the northeast and Whiteshell Provincial Park to the southeast.
The Town of Lac du Bonnet, which is a separate municipal entity, is located within the boundaries of the rural municipality. The Town of Lac du Bonnet offers many services to its residents that are not delivered to residents of the R.M. These include: sewer, water, paved streets, street lighting, garbage pick-up, etc. The differences in services between the Town and the R.M. are aptly reflected in variations in mill rates.
The Town of Lac du Bonnet is the major service center within the region, and over the years, the R.M. and the Town have collaborated on bringing many projects and services to its residents. Such projects have included the Lac du Bonnet Regional Library, Lac du Bonnet Arena, Lac du Bonnet Community Centre, Lac du Bonnet Youth Centre, Lac du Bonnet and District Fire Department and Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee.
The R.M. of Lac du Bonnet shares borders with the Rural Municipalities of Brokenhead and St. Clements to the west; the Rural Municipalities of Reynolds, Whitemouth and L.G.D. of Pinawa to the south; and the Rural Municipality of Alexander to the north.
Since its incorporation, the economic base of the municipality has become quite diverse. While agriculture remains a staple industry in the western portion of the municipality, hydroelectric generation, mining, harvesting of trees for lumber as well as pulp and paper and tourism has become important components of the local economy.
Over the past 40 years, the R.M. of Lac du Bonnet has seen exceptional growth in land development. Due to its proximity to the Winnipeg and Lee Rivers, lands adjacent to these waterways have become a haven to full-time and seasonal residents. As well, Lac du Bonnet has paralleled other rural municipal jurisdictions outside of Winnipeg with a steady growth in its population as retirees move from larger urban centers to make the pristine beauty of Lac du Bonnet their home. In fact, the Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet presently ranks 16th out of 200 Manitoba Municipalities in terms if overall assessed value.
Permanent residents in the municipality exceed 2,400 people. However, between May and October, the population swells in excess of 8,000 residents, as cottagers and campers pour into the community to take advantage of all that nature has to offer.
Presently, the Rural Municipality provides the following inventory of services to its residents:
- 490 kilometers of municipal roads, all of which are maintained on a year-round basis;
- summer maintenance of public reserves;
- administration and operation of a district volunteer fire department;
- a complete civic addressing system;
- enhanced 9-1-1 Emergency Response System for every phone line;
- Emergency Coordinator with an emergency plan in place;
- By-Law Enforcement Officer;
- operation of two waste disposal transfer stations (five-bin site on Provincial Road 520 and a two-bin site on Provincial Road 214);
- support towards a municipal recycling program;
- two-cell sewage lagoon, with each cell encompassing 114,000 sq. meters, which is capable of servicing 4,568 permanent residents;
- administration and maintenance of a Regional Airport, that includes a paved runway and water base;ongoing drainage projects along 1,377 kilometers of municipal drains;
- financial support towards the Lac du Bonnet Regional Library; Lac du Bonnet Arena; Lac du Bonnet Youth and Community Centers; Lac du Bonnet/Pinawa Recreation District; Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee; Lac du Bonnet Planning District; and Agassiz Weed District;
- maintenance of five municipal boat launches, numerous parks and eight municipal cemeteries.
In addition to the preceding services, the Rural Municipality also provides financial support to numerous community-based and regional organizations in support of their programs and activities.
Major Accomplishments Since 2002As stated earlier in this document, this strategic plan is a continuation of a process begun following the Municipal Election of 2002. Since that time, Council believes that inward change is necessary towards making as outward difference. Based on this belief, Council has strived to bring about changes to the way the R.M. of Lac du Bonnet carries out business to provide enhanced services and greater accountability towards residents. This cycle is never-ending and a constant work in progress.
The following is a list of the municipal accomplishments since the strategic planning process began in 2002:
- Development and adoption of a Municipal Strategic Plan, outlining in writing, Council's direction for the jurisdiction during their term of office.
- Revised Financial Plan which reduced the replacement rate for capital equipment from 15 years to 5 years, thus reducing repair time and costs
- Acquisition of lacdubonnet.com website, which contains information of importance to residents.
- Annual "out of chamber" meetings at Seddon's Corner and Winnipeg.
- Periodic use of Press Releases to announce important developments.
- Use of "Letters to the Editor" section of the Lac du Bonnet Leader to respond to issues of public importance and concern
- Signing of a Water Services Agreement with the Town of Lac du Bonnet, ensuring the delivery of water and sewer services to the Glen Howard Inn.
- Development and implementation of a Zoning By-Law that had been in the agenda for fifteen years.
- Development and implementation of the transfer station bag sticker program, which has been instrumental in reducing household waste and transfer costs by approximately 50 percent.
- Passage of a borrowing by-law for the acquisition of new equipment. The by-law permitted Council to borrow funds for the purchase of capital equipment in keeping with the new Financial Plan. Money was borrowed rather than taking funds from municipal reserves because the reserves are yielding a higher interest rate than the cost of borrowing.
- Promoting Lac du Bonnet as the site for a new hospital to service the North Eastman Region of Manitoba
- Through the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM), continue to lobby the provincial government to remove education funding from property tax
- Lobbying the provincial government thereby securing $ one million in support over three years to improve drainage along Wardrop's Creek.
Internal Review Process
- Commissioned an external review of the Public Works Department and carried out a Public Feedback Survey, which provided valuable information for constructive change within the municipality.
- Reorganization of the Public Works and Operations Department, with the creation of a non-union Works and Operations Manager position.
- Written clarification of roles between Council, Chief Administrative Officer, Works and Operations Manager and employees.
- Development and adoption of a process for determining and establishing drainage work priorities within the municipality.
- Creation of nonexistent policies and procedures addressing such issues as:
- Code of conduct;
- Dispute Resolution;
- Sexual Harassment;
- Confidentiality; and
- Council Decision Making.