Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corporation

Open Letter to Springfield Residents

UPDATE June 17, 2024:
MAYOR Therrien, Councillors Warren and Fuhl (with only 4 days notice to the public),
are NOW planning to give second and third reading to pass the hotly contested General Borrowing Bylaw that will force All Springfield Residents, without their consent, to pay for new offsite sewer and water services supporting developer profits and allow for accelerated residential development of up to 200 new homes  annually in the Dugald Oakbank corridor!

Without consultation, adequate notice or consent from the public, the RM staff and Mayor are also planning to slip in an additional tax on Residents currently on serviced water. The proposed new additional tax could easily add up to $300 per Residence to their annual water bill.

         THERRIEN’S RECKLESS  “PASS THIS NOW, WORRY ABOUT THE REST LATER” APPROACH  is totally contrary to 90% of THE Springfielder’s who participated in the door to door Survey / Petition conducted by Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corp.

   Over 1200 residents said no to pay for infrastructure costs directly benefiting developers and builders and voted no to Springfields transition to become a Suburb of Winnipeg.

From June 11, 2024

Message from Councillors Miller and Kuczynski

Borrowing plans for the next 3 years in Springfield may raise resident taxes by up to $1,250 per year due to infrastructure needs of developers.

Click below to see their latest video:

Mayor Therrien & Councillors Warren & Fuhl’s MASSIVE PROPERTY TAX PROPOSAL

Usually, local improvements for major infrastructure projects, which provide services to new homes and multi residential developments, are funded by the property developers. Purchasers of these new properties usually pay their share of development costs, as the infrastructure costs are reflected in the purchase price of new homes and properties. Developers are usually expected to carry a majority of the water and waste infrastructure costs, as these improvements significantly increase the value of their properties, usually doubling the property’s value. New Residents, who will eventually use these services, could also be required to pay for the remaining offsite service costs.

Most Municipalities usually administrate these user pay projects via a LOCAL IMPROVEMENT BYLAW.

HOWEVER… Here is Therrien, Fuhl & Warren’s Plan…

Mayor Therrien, along with Councillors Fuhl and Warren, are now preparing a GENERAL BORROWING BYLAW that will force ALL SPRINGFIELD RESIDENTS to pay for these offsite services, which are intended for the benefit of four planned developments in Dugald and one in Oakbank.


Estimated Costs to supply new services, exclusively for the benefit of new development, is north of $55 million dollars.  This will undoubtedly increase all resident’s property taxes substantially. Initial estimates including the debt servicing fees will certainly add hundreds of dollars per year to all resident’s property taxes.

Allan Akins, a Director of Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corp (STRC), states that this appears to be another rushed, poorly thought-out plan, by Therrien, that has very little to no support from our community. Therrien’s plan appears to increase the profits of Business Developers and Builders, at the expense of Springfield Residents.

Therrien’s plan is also to accelerate the availability of serviced lots for home builds, from our current 70 new builds per year to a minimum of 200 new residences each year.  WE believe this number of new builds is excessive and will not only affect our rural identity, but it will continue to increase traffic congestion and safety concerns on Dugald and Garven Roads for commuters. This plan would also place significant stress on our schools, as their capacity is already extended.

Most Importantly, a vast MAJORITY of Springfield Residents have already invested up to $50,000 for their own Wells and/or Septic Fields. Why should we be forced to pay for the services of new residents in these new developments?

Akins also stated, “Therrien is not offering funding for existing and new Acreage Residents. Currently all residents on acreages must provide for their own services, by drilling new wells and septic fields on their property.” Why is Therrien giving new residential small lot builders and developers a free ride at our expense? We have already paid once for our own services, why then should we pay for someone else’s?

Councillors Andy Kuczynski (Ward 2) and Mark Miller (Ward 3) have been vocal against the proposed new tax and spend scheme. They are fighting for fair taxation for all Springfield residents. Councillors Kuczynski and Miller promote the benefit, user pay approach that will not additionally tax existing residents and safeguarding the key concerns of our community members.


STRC members have recently completed an extensive canvas throughout the ENTIRE MUNICIPALITY, meeting with over 800 residents.

Akins confirmed the following results:

  1. Over 90% of the residents we consulted with, said, “NO” to Therrien, Fuhl and Warren’s excessive costly growth plan which includes PAYING up to $55 MILLION DOLLARS FROM RESIDENTS’ OWN POCKETS FOR SERVICES, from which they will receive no benefit.
  2. Overwhelmingly Springfield residents want to keep their rural community identity and not move towards becoming a suburb of Winnipeg.
  3. All proposed new development plans for Springfield must not affect residents existing quality of life.

The executive and members of STRC believe all residents should be aware of this massive multi Million-dollar TAX HIKE, which is also most quite likely contravening Springfield’s Master Land Use Development Plan and it’s adopted policies.

We have contacted an exceptionally large number of our Springfield residents, most of whom have no idea about this pending proposed bylaw.


New Developments
With less than 10% support from the community on Therrien, Fuhl and Warren’s tax increase, and after listening to what residents said at the door, WE ARE PROPOSING THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Mayor Therrien and council withdraw the General Borrowing Bylaw.
  2. That council agrees to hold and commits to meaningful public hearings and follow the recommendations of the community that it ‘SERVES”!
  3. Council confirms adoption of a user pay by-law for all new developments.
  4. Council reaffirms that they will uphold and follow Springfield’s existing by-laws including our Master Land Use by-law development plan.
  5. Council reaffirms the rights of its ratepayers and restores residents’ full access and participation on important matters affecting our community at council meetings.
  6. Council agrees to establish, with residents, a fair and reasonable annual cap on all new home and residential construction in Springfield. Additionally, Council will provide a detail forward looking financial plan that identifies how projects will be funded and to address the concerns of residents.

Council agrees to establish a comprehensive, fair and honest review of costs regarding our proposed current freshwater reverse osmosis treatment plant with the goal of reducing the capital costs by 50%. Currently there are seven viable options to explore that Mayor Therrien and Councillors Fuhl and Warren failed to consider prior to first reading.

Make your voice heard!

DEMAND that the RM of Springfield Council be FAIR & EQUITABLE!

Tell Mayor Therrien, Councillor Fuhl and Councillor Warren to:

  1. IMMEDIATELY withdraw the General Borrowing Bylaw (which taxes ALL residents)
  2. Bring to council a “Local Improvement Bylaw” (which is fair and equitable) (A Local Improvement Bylaw will require the Land Developers and Builders, who are the beneficiaries of new municipal water and sewer services, to unconditionally agree to pay for these services IN FULL)

Mayor Patrick Therrien: 204-902-0728 Email: ptherrien@rmofspringfield.ca
Councillor Glen Fuhl: 204-232-4631 Email:gfuhl@rmofspringfield.ca
 Councillor Melinda Warren: 204-403-8201 Email:mwarren@rmofspringfield.ca

3. Sign the below petitions and email to Allan Akins (allanakinsis@gmail.com)

DOWS Petition

ROSSOL Petition

PRESS RELEASE - February 16, 2024
From SAVE OUR WATER and Springfield Taxpayer Rights Corp

Today, we are very pleased and relieved to hear the announcement that the Government will not grant Sio Silica a mining license. 
We would first like to thank the newly elected provincial government under the leadership of our new Premier Wab Kinuw and Minister Schmidt for listening to the people and following the science on this very controversial issue. 
We must also acknowledge the Citizens of Springfield who have worked hard over the last 3 years to draw the public’s attention to the serious risk that this project poses to our pure drinking water. Our survey in September resulted in a 96.4% vote against Sio Silica. We thank all the people for their continued support and dedication to the preservation of maintaining a safe and dependable water source for our homes and businesses over the last 3 years.  If the people hadn’t turned out time and again and voted when they could against this untested and very risky project, the decision would likely have been made a year ago but not in our favour. 
Since the first signs of this project showed up in Springfield, our local council seemed to ignore the concerns of the people and disregard our by-laws and procedures.  Beginning with the test hole drilling, the open stockpiles of silica sand, the amassing of mineral rights licensing, land clearing etc. our locally elected representatives seemed more motivated by their provincial masters that their constituents concerns. But thankfully elections happen and sometimes they do make a difference.  
In 2022, the municipal election replaced 4 out of 5 members of council.  Two new councillors: Mark Miller and Andy Kuczynski did not bend to the pressure of the provincial will and instead stood up for the citizens of Springfield.  Their commitment to promoting Springfield’s future and protecting the environment put them in very difficult circumstances at times and our appreciation for their efforts is so very much appreciated.  

Then with the provincial election of 2023 the Conservative machine that seemed to have been driving this project regardless of the risks to the environment, regardless of provincial statutes and regulations, thankfully came to an abrupt end.    

Although today’s announcement is very welcomed, we are still left with the underlying feeling that there is still more to be done. The Sio Silica mining and processing project should not have gotten this far.  The laws that are in place have either been overlooked or are too weak to protect the public’s safety and interests.  Save Our Water and Springfield Taxpayer Rights organized to become the voice that our elected officials should have had.  

We do not want this type of project to ever happen again.  We fully support the Ethics Investigation that is underway but we would also ask for a full enquiry on how this project was handled.  Almost from the beginning, rules seem to have been bent, ignored or manipulated by people high up in power.  Decisions were made that facilitated the project but lacked rational or practical thinking, such as dividing the project into two parts for licensing.  The processing plant and the mining of silica could not exist separately.    A enquiry would hopefully expose who behind the scenes was making the decisions, what deals may have been made, who may benefit most from the project etc.  

Allan Akins, the President and spokesperson for SAVE OUR WATER, and Springfield Taxpayer Rights Corp is not able to attend the Press Release but is available by phone for comment and to answer questions this afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. 

Below are copies of the zoning by-laws 08-01 and 21-25.

Regarding: Cancellation of Appeal to the Municipal Board regarding the Provincial issue of Water Rights Act of License No. 2020-036

On Monday, January 9th, the lawyers for Margaret Marion-Akins and Berger Peat Moss Processing Plant advised the Municipal Board that over the weekend an agreement had been reached between the two parties.  To be clear: this appeal does not involve or affect the legal action between Berger Peat Moss Processing Plant and the Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corp.  The only common element is that both issues involve Berger and the Akins. 


In August of 2021, Margaret Marion-Akins, wrote a letter to the Drainage and Water Rights Licensing Branch objecting to the issuance of the water license to Berger.  The basis of the objection that she laid out in her letter was in part that the province relied on an incomplete hydrogeological report.  The submitted report did not base its evaluations on the granted usage of 200 USGM (US gallons per minute), that longer term pumping tests were to have been done by Friesen Drillers, and the impacts to neighbouring wells was not properly studied.  This letter began a formal appeal process regarding the issuance of the water license by the Province.  The appeal was then forwarded to the Municipal Board.  A year and a half later, a five day Public Hearing was scheduled that would involve legal representation from the three parties (Province, Berger, and Akins) as well their expert witnesses. 


The best outcome that could have been expected from the Akins perspective would have been to have the Province revoke the water license and require Berger to drill a new test well and do the proper monitoring of the Berger production wells as well as monitor the impact to neighbouring wells.  Depending on the results, Berger could again make application for a new water license accordingly.  The worst outcome would be that the license was upheld and no further testing would be required.   The negotiated agreement, involves the drilling of a new observation well, a full test of the production wells being done and monitoring of the aquifer for a period of time.

Next Steps

As their expert witness, the Akins hired Steven Topping P.Eng. His credentials included working for the Province for 20 years and at one point being directly responsible for the Water Rights Licensing Section.  Through his review of the documents, tests and related studies he concluded that more standardized and stringent testing should be required in Springfield for any large ground water consumers.  Furthermore he suggested that a study of the current licensed groundwater and domestic water withdrawal should be undertaken to obtain an understanding of the carbonate aquifer sustainability for the eastern side of the province and Springfield in particular. 

It is hoped that now the Appeal has ended, we can continue to work with Mr. Topping and go before council to address the importance of obtaining a sustainable groundwater plan for Springfield.

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