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David Stobbe and Dave Harder at work on Municipal By-laws and tax estimates. David Stobbe was Secretary-Treasurer of the R.M. of Rhineland from 1948 to 1975.

Credit: CMCA

Another dispute arose in 1978 when Altona proposed to annex 1,840 acres from the Rural Municipality of Rhineland to accommodate a projected residential and commercial development. Opposition by area farmers who feared higher taxes convinced the municipality to reject the plan and in 1979 Altona dropped their plans. 26

The Growth of Altona and the Survival of the Small Town 1960-84

The acquisition of a stable water supply for the towns of Altona and Gretna led to renewed hopes for industrial growth in the early 1960's. Both towns formed industrial development organizations to encourage new industries to locate in their respective towns, but a stable water supply did not prove to be the expected panacea. A downturn in the farm economy during the 1960's along with continued population loss in the municipality, adversely affected all area towns. Between 1961 and 1971 all Rhineland towns stagnated with most losing population. By 1980, however, the decline of towns such as Plum Coulee, Gretna and Rosen­ feld had halted as they assumed small local residential and service functions. Altona, on the other hand, had grown rapidly in the 1970's and in 1983 was again searching for a new and better source of water to fulfill its projected needs in the next decade.