The Mayor of Ritchot says, unfortunately, residents in her municipality have become experienced flood fighters.

Parts of southern Manitoba have already received a winter's worth of snow, and it is still only mid-January.

"We're just going to hope that we have the same luck we've had the last five years," explains Jackie Hunt.

But Hunt says their emergency services are experienced and as a municipality, they are ready. Hunt says it has been a few years since they last had to sandbag in spring, and she is hopeful that trend can continue.

Meanwhile, 2017 should see the community of St.Adolphe begin to experience growth. Expansion of the St.Adolphe dike started in the summer of 2015. Hunt says there is up to 300 acres of developable land, which she says will be fantastic for that community. Once all is said and done, the Mayor says they should see the addition of 1,500 doors within that community.

There is also development happening in the Grande Pointe area. Hunt says North Grassie has purchased acres to the south. She notes they should be starting to build in 2017. It will become a small community there, which is different from the rest of Grande Pointe that is built more on acreages. Hunt notes this will become more of a standard community development with roads, streets, parks and green space.

Also this year, Hunt says they will look to address some riverbank stability issues in the Howden area. She notes residents in that area just south of Winnipeg and east of Highway #75 are in danger of losing their main road.

"Which is a huge concern for both ourselves and the residents," says Hunt.

She says they will look to do some engineering studies to see what can be done to protect that road.

And finally, Hunt says by the end of 2017, the Rural Municipality of Ritchot should have a third fire hall. Hunt is hopeful that in spring they can break ground on the building in Ste.Agathe.

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