Rural Manitoba town looks to double its footprint

One of the fastest-growing communities in Canada is looking to double its footprint.

Niverville, a small rural community sandwiched between Winnipeg and Steinbach, is in the early stages of a land proposal it says will help the community expand.

The town has grown more than 28 per cent since 2016, with a population of more than 6,000, and it hopes to become a city in the coming decades.

“To be Manitoba’s newest city at about the 10-year mark from where we’re at is very realistic,” said Niverville’s Mayor Myron Dyck.

And now Niverville needs more land.

“The Town of Niverville can’t grow in all directions. It’s important to find more infrastructure, but it’s important also to recognize that the town should grow away from the Red River, away from potential flooding concerns,” said Jeff Palmer, a community planner with Urban Systems Ltd.

The town has put forward a proposal that would take over 2,600 acres of land from the RM of Hanover.

“With Highway 311, to grow along the highway, it then gives opportunity for commercial, residential, industrial, all types of growth.”

George Dyck has lived in Niverville for 50 years and runs his son’s auto glass shop on the outskirts of town.

“We have some awesome facilities here and probably some are the best in Manitoba,” he said.

While he is glad to see town improvements, he’s also a little worried.

“If the slogan is ‘Niverville, where you belong’, we need to make sure that there’s a reason that we can say that we’re where you belong,” he said. “Right now I think we are kind of losing that part.”

CTV News reached out to the Reeve and CAO of the RM of Hanover. Both were unavailable for interviews Wednesday.

Niverville is hoping to hear how residents feel about the plan. Notices for two public town halls and one private one with owners of the roughly 50 affected properties have been sent out.

The community planner says while they are planning now, he doesn’t expect the proposed area to look much different until 25 to 50 years from now.

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