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Support sought from local residents

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    The Fundraising Committee for the Badlands Community Facility are in urgent need of support to realize their goal of raising $1.5 million by year’s end.
    The committee is making great headway towards their goal of raising the estimated $12 million needed to build the complete facility. They have just kicked off their fundraising efforts with the Calgary Flames Alumni Game and have received a generous pledge of support from EnCana for $500,000.
    Now they are looking to community leaders that want to be counted on as founders.
    The Founders Club is for those who will be immortalized as one of the founders of the project. Like the Big Four that founded the Calgary Stampede, the committee is looking for community minded individuals to step up to leave their mark on the community for years to come.
    There are categories for the founders club, from Bronze Level, those who donate $50,000, to the  Platinum Level, which us those who give $250,000. The donations are tax deductible, and the Town of Drumheller can issue a receipt for the donation.
    Already there are two couples that are members of the club. Elson and Pat McDougald have to become a Platinum founders, while Jay and Connie O’Dwyer have pledged to be Bronze Members.
    “The community has embraced this project as a whole, now we are looking for individuals to make a serious financial commitment. Everyone says they want to donate, but they want to see the plans,” said Jeff Hall chair of the fundraising committee. “Founders are people that have the foresight to support the vision.”
    Taking into account all donations, the committee has raised $875,000 to date.
    The doors to the Founders Club are only open until December 31, 2009.
    The committee hopes to have significant support leading into its next major fundraising endeavour.
    Elson and Pat McDougald are hosting Drumheller Day at the Calgary Chamber of Commence on February 24, 2010. A strong show of local support would help show Drumheller is serious about making the Badlands Community Facility a reality.
    For more information on the Founders Club and how to leave your mark on Badlands Community Facility, Contact Hall at 403-823-7800, Elson McDougald at 403-998-7595 or Jay O’Dwyer at 403-823-2500.

Flames shoot from DCHS roof

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Heat from welders torches apparently started a fire on the roof of  the DCHS facility currently undergoing renovations in East Drumheller, on Thursday, December 10 at about 4 p.m. Workers were seen throwing snow on the blaze as Drumheller firefighters arrived on the scene. Three units from the Drumheller Hall attended. No injuries were immediately reported. (top) Flames are seen on the roof of the high school, while, (bottom) Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Wade unrolls hoses, and Fire Chief Bill Bachynski gathers details from evacuated workers on scene.

$50,000 raised in Badlands Rail initial offering

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    The campaign to purchase the rail line between Lyalta and Oyen is in full swing, as Brad Weibe of Palliser Regional Municipal Services, with Art Stacey and Hal Koberinski of RailWest Management, a company contracted to study the viability of developing a short line railway, were on tour to surrounding communities last week to garner support.
    The group was in Drumheller on Thursday, December 3 to make their presentation. About a dozen came out in Drumheller for the presentation.
    Part of the presentation was to garner support morally and financially.
    Time is of the essence for group as those at the meeting were told CN has issued Notice of Discontinuance.
     The notice appeared in the December 4 edition of inSide Drumheller. The company made official notice it intends to sell its ownership and operating interest in the Drumheller Subdivision (near Hanna to Lyalta) and the Oyen Subdivision (Hanna to Oyen). A deadline for parties to make their interest known is February 15, 2010.
    Art Stacey explained through RailWest Managements’ studies of the line they have concluded that a viable short line railway can be built from Oyen to Lyalta. Not only would the line be a savings for shareholders that wish to ship their grain via rail, but it could also have economic spin offs and future community and economic development.
    He says CN has an interest in selling the line at a discounted price to a short line operator as it could lead to more business being delivered to CN from producers on the line.
    “If it goes through, they (CN) are getting a lot more traffic for free to pick up and take to the coast. They have a benefit. Where they gain they don’t have a railway to maintain to a Class A level,” said Weibe.
    Mr. Stacey laid out RailWest Management’s proposed plan of action. They believe the most viable plan moving forward would be to lease the line from Oyen to Drumheller, and to purchase the west line, and believe an offer would look like about $8.3 million.
    He says this is a good plan because typically on a leased line there would be no rent for five years, and it would be difficult to raise the estimated $22 million to buy the line outright.
    To be ready to make an offer they hope to have raised $250,000 by the February 15 deadline in order to make a serious offer to CN. The Badlands Railroad Company has been incorporated to make this transaction.
    At the meeting they introduced their initial share offering. They are offering Class A voting shares at $1,000 each in hopes of raising an initial deposit to make the offer. Mr. Stacey says this share offering is very low risk because if the offer is rejected, the investors will see their money returned.
    Weibe said the two days of meetings were productive. They raised about $50,000, and as importantly they have individual support.
    ‘It's a good start, we also have a 20 to 25 member board of directors that was set up, so it is good support in both ways from these meeting in terms of people power and financially,” said Weibe. There is still a long ways to go financially. It at least gives us a starting point now this board of directors can give us direction.”
    For more information go to www.badlandsrail.com.

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