By Marianne Curtis
The RM of Piney’s new reeve is ready and eager to get down to business. Duane Boutang is looking forward to sitting down with the former council to find out what their major issues.
“We are going to sit down with the former council to find out what they’re major issues were – here it seems to always be drainage, roads, culverts, gravel, economic development, and of course cell phone huge challenge,” stated Boutang. “There are a lot of problems with the ditches that shouldn’t have been such a problem.”
Boutang says he was surprised while campaigning to discover how many ratepayers able to vote in the RM of Piney that do not actually live in the municipality.
“This presents us with a huge challenge because we can not use their voices to go after our MLA’s because they vote somewhere else which presents a unique challenge for the RM of Piney,” Boutang noted. “Only one quarter of the municipality is privately owned and half of that is by outsiders – the remainder is crown land.”
Boutang hopes that the next provincial election will work in the municipality’s favor.
“If Dennis Smook gets elected it would be good for us because he is more aware of our unique issues,” added Boutang. Smook recently gained the Tory nod to be the area’s representative in the next provincial election. “It would be better for us.”
One of the big issues that Boutang would like to see addressed that would help the municipality immensely would be having the province pay for money towards infrastructure.
“We don’t get a nickel back from all the forestry that is taken out of the area from crown land yet we pay for the ditches and the roads,” Boutang explained. “They should be sharing it.”
Boutang feels strongly that the RM of Piney has vast potential and he is looking forward to helping steer the municipality to a better future.