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Council Notes from the Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

Town of Drumheller Crest

Council Notes
Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec. 19, 2016


The Town of Drumheller held a special Council Meeting, December 19 to address the issue of raising the Utility Rate pertaining to water and wastewater fees. After an amendment was made at the December 12 meeting to decrease the raise of 5 per cent to 2 percent for water and 3 percent to 1.5 percent for wastewater Council agreed to revisit this matter.

Councillor Jay Garbutt addressed Council stating that he did not want to see rates increase but after reviewing this Councillor Garbutt made a motion to reinstate the original proposal to increase water by 5 percent and wastewater by 2 percent.

Councillor Garbutt said, “I am opposed to this motion and prefer to see the original motion reinstated.”

Councillor Sharel Shoff said she felt they should try to keep the fees the same for another year and feels they should help the people in the community in any way they can.

According to Director of Corporate Services, Barb Miller, if rates go up by 3 percent versus 5 percent the timeline to cost recovery would be 2022 instead of 2020.

Councillor Pat Kolafa said, “I think we are working against ourselves by doing that.”

Motion to decrease fees was defeated. The amendment to have fees increased by 5 percent and 2 percent was reinstated and the motion carried by a vote of 4 to 3. First, second, third readings to reinstate the increase were completed and the motion was passed to keep the previous increase of 5 percent to water and 2 percent to wastewater.

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Council then reviewed the Service Fee Schedule for 2017.

Administration fees will not be facing an increase.
According to Director of Infrastructure Services, Darryl Drohomerski, Airport rates will be going up by $50. Mr. Drohomerski said that in comparison to numerous airport fees Drumheller’s fees are very low and there hasn’t been any raise to these rates in many years.
According to Mayor Terry Yemen, all fees regarding animal licences are staying the same.

Director of Community Services, Paul Salvatore, said Community Services are still focusing on cost recovery. With this focus, fees for the Aquaplex, Arena, Ball Diamonds, and BCF will be facing a 2 percent increase. These new rates won’t be implemented until July 2017. Numerous Council members highlighted the Fee Assessment Program, available for those in lower income brackets. This allows for up to fifty percent discount on most memberships for those who qualify. When challenged Mr. Salvatore acknowledged that Drumheller is on the higher end for fees regarding the Aquaplex but due to still being in cost recovery mode, fees will continue to be higher. The Town also offers many opportunities for families to take advantage of the facilities available in town. Some of these are toonie swims and family fun days at the BCF.

Increases to bulk utility rates will increase like planned. This will affect places like campgrounds with sewer dropping and bulk water usage.

The Service Fee Schedule showed that business licences will stay the same.

Fees regarding the Cemetery will increase by the proposed 2 percent.

Paul Salvatore, Director of Community Services said The Summer Fun, Flex Days, Before and After School Care programs and the BCF birthday party packages are all staying the same for the time being. Since these programs did not meet the revenues in 2016 Community Services will be reassessing the after school fees for changes in the fees for the 2017/2018 year.

Safety fees and development permit fees will be increased by 2 percent. Mayor Yemen stressed the increase of safety’s codes is due to the new contractor fees the town is facing. There has been no increase to these fees since 2012.

Mayor Yemen closed the meeting by acknowledging the hard work of administration to keep increases to a bare minimum.


Council Notes Regular Council Meeting Monday, December 12, 2016

Town of Drumheller Crest

Council Notes

Regular Council Meeting Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday, December 12 Town Council Meeting started off by Councillor, Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk sworn in as Deputy Mayor for the months of January and February, 2017.
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Mayor Terry Yemen stated that due to the Christmas holidays there would be no Council meeting for December 26, 2016.
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Mayor Yemen read a letter received which asked if there was anyone in the community that would be considered a nominee for the Alberta Order of Excellence Award. Mayor Yemen explained that anyone can nominate a person who is considered to be someone who stands out within the Drumheller area for giving back to the community, by going to the Lieutenant Governor’s webpage.
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Council proceeded to complete the first reading of the bylaw to establish utility rates. Council reviewed average monthly charges for each of the 4 groups, based on meter sizes. When reviewing these numbers Council found a deficit in group 2 and group 3. Council discussed ways to compensate for this deficit. Since the province is recommending all municipalities make up for the shortfalls, council discussed increasing the rate and meter charge for water and wastewater by 5 percent. Concerns about the economic position most of Alberta is in and the upcoming carbon tax were brought forward from some of the council members. The motion to increase rates by 5 percent was defeated through a tie vote from Council. Councillor Sharel Shoff made a motion to raise the rate of water by 3 percent and waste water by 1.5 percent. A motion was passed to look into second and third readings for the amendment to this bylaw.
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Council completed the second and third readings of the Bylaw for borrowing monies to cover town operating expenses.
Motion carried.
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Authorization and verification for 2017 expenditures that was not included in the budget was then completed for Council to approve CAO or his delegate to pay all these expenditures.
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The first reading of the bylaw amendment for a prepayment incentive of property taxes was held. This incentive currently includes a discount of 3.5 percent for those paid before the end of January and 3 percent discount for those paid by the end of February. The amendment is to reduce these discounts to 1.25 percent if paid before the end of January and 1 percent if paid by the end of February. All three readings were passed.
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Council switched to in camera matters.

Council Notes Regular Council Meeting Monday, November 28, 2016

Town of Drumheller Crest

Council Notes

Regular Council Meeting Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

 

A delegation from the Canadian Red Cross attended Council with a project undertaken by their group promoting a partnership to municipal government. Melanie Soler, Associate Vice President, Disaster Management, and Jennifer McManus, Alberta Vice-President spoke to Council about their recent activities in the Ft. McMurray area during the June wildfires. They explained the role the Red Cross has in Canada and the partnerships they have with governments across Canada. They have educated over 332,000 Canadians about disaster preparedness in Canada, in recent years, and how they assist communities during disasters. They deployed 2,489 volunteers for The Fort McMurray Fire Response, and have spent 56% of the funds donated for that disaster so far.

CouncilRedCrossWeb

Canadian Red Cross representatives Associate Vice President, Disaster Management, Melanie Soler, left, and Vice President, Alberta and North West Territories, Jennifer McManus attend Town Council to propose a partnership between the Red Cross and Town of Drumheller.  

The Red Cross would like to establish a group of volunteers in this area to coordinate action needed if a disaster were to arise locally, and achieve this by working with the municipality. The Red Cross was helpful in assisting a local family affected by a fire situation this past July.

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Deputy Mayor Jay Garbutt chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Terry Yemen. He thanked the FCSS department for their work on the Light Up the Town event held November 25.

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Drumheller Public Library Board Chair Vanessa Page and member Julia Fielding attended Council to present their 2017-2018 budget numbers and had a good news report, as they are asking for less money in the next two years, to which Deputy Mayor Garbutt had to restrain himself from giving them a standing ovation. Ms. Fielding also told Council that membership in the Marigold Library System continues to be a boon to users, mainly due to cost efficiencies, and convenience.

CouncilLibraryWeb

Drumheller Public Library Board Chair Vanessa Page, left, and Board Member Julia Fielding attend Council to deliver the Public Library’s 2017 budget.

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Mike Todor, a longtime Businessman, has been re-appointed to the Economic Development Task Force for a three year term.

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The Lease for the Drumheller Off Road Vehicle Association (DORVA), was renewed for another five year period. The town has had a good relationship with the group in the past, and Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk complimented them on their activities. The lease is for $1.00 per year.

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Council also passed a motion leasing and operating the land occupied by the Drumheller and District Solid Waste Management Association, and owned by the Town of Drumheller. The lease has a cost of $25.00 per year, and is for a period of four years. Subsequent renewals are for five year terms. There are approximately 15-20 years capacity left in the current section of the landfill, and another 25 years capacity in another section, given the current amount of waste collected at this time.

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CAO Ray Romanetz provided Council with a timeline over the next few months for implementing budget and utility rates.

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Council examined bids for the commercial and residential garbage pickup in Drumheller, as the current contract with Huxted Enterprises expires at the end of December. Director of Infrastructure Darryl Drohomerski recommended the bid delivered by GFL Environmental, in the amount of $1,861,321.08. Mr. Drohomerski gave a short history of GFL to Council. This contract will give savings to the town of $300,000 over the four year life of the contract. Residential collection will drop to four days per week. Commercial collection would remain as it is at present.

Motion carried.

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Council passed the 2017 budget for the Drumheller Housing Association’s Sandstone Manor. A copy of the budget is forwarded to the provincial government.


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