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Last updateThu, 13 Dec 2018 2pm

Hanna holds coal transition meeting


Residents of Hanna had the opportunity to learn more about some of the ideas put forth to secure the future of the community.

On Thursday night, November 29 about 120 attended a Hanna Coal Transition meeting. Mayor Chris Warwick said it was a positive gathering.

“We were very pleased with it. We gave an update on where we’ve been on lobbying the government and what we have been doing as a taskforce. It was very well received,” said Warwick.

The committees have been working on ideas towards viability in light of the announcement by the Alberta Government to phase out coal-powered electricity. Warwick says they have learned the generation plant in Hanna is being converted to natural gas, but will still have coal functionality.

“It will have the ability to run both gas and coal, just because it doesn’t cost more to do that, so they are going to leave the option of coal, you never know with a change of government. The latest date they will be converted to gas will be April of 2022,” said Warwick.

He says the community action teams that were formed have been brainstorming.

“These are ideas that have been brought forth by residents of Hanna, such as business opportunities and all kinds of things,” said Warwick.

One of these initiatives is looking at making Hanna a livestock hub. Warwick says veterinarian Tamara Quaschnick was a driver of this idea.

“It would be a hub that would offer very specific agricultural services and offer a one-stop-shop model, It’s a really good project.” said Warwick.

Another proposal is the Retire to Hanna initiative.

“There are some infrastructure things that may need to happen within the community but not that hard to overcome,” said Warwick. “The beauty of Hanna is that it checks off all the boxes. Some of the things retired people are looking for are hospitals, being within a couple of hours from a major centre and amenities such as walking tracks. The advantage of Hanna compared to Red Deer or other larger centres is the cost of living.”

Mark Nikota was part of this taskforce, and he says a large component will be marketing.

“The biggest thing in our group is we don’t tell anyone about it, so part of our initiative is a marketing plan,” said Nikota. “We want to let people know what Hanna has to offer.”

“Of course these things take capital dollars, so it is always a hurdle when it comes down to that,” said Warwick, adding they have not made a specific proposal to governments for funding of any of these projects yet.

Warwick hopes to have more meetings in the future.

“It was fairly lengthy because we haven’t done an update in quite some time, so we are going to try and have these on a more regular basis so we can keep our community updated,” said Warwick

He says most of the legwork for these initiatives have been coming out of the Hanna Learning Centre and is funded by the Coal Community Transition Fund, the community received from the government in August of 2017

“We have extended Hanna Learning Centre’s contract to go well into next year,” said Warwick.

“All of these ideas were brought forth by the community…it was all grassroots, which is excellent, that’s how you get buy-in.”

Canada Day Parade Committee being formed

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The Town of Drumheller is facilitating the creation of a Parade Committee to make sure the Canada Day Parade lives on for years.
This comes after the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce announced that after 2019, they would no longer be hosting the event. The Chamber and the town are working in partnership to support the transition.
“I want to thank the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce for all their hard work in organizing this fantastic tradition in our town for the last 20 years,” said Mayor Heather Colberg. “We are excited to hear that people are interested in being part of a parade committee. What a great illustration of the community spirit in Drumheller.”
“The Town of Drumheller is happy to facilitate the creation of a Parade Committee,” added Darryl Drohomerski. “This group will make all logistical decisions for the parade for 2020 and beyond.”
If people are interested in being on the parade committee please contact Linda Handy at

Delia School Enhancement Society fundraising tops $1 million

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The Delia School Enhancement Society (DSES) has topped the $1 million mark and nothing is slowing down its fundraising efforts for the new Delia School and community hub.

The Mail reported in August the society kicked off its fundraising campaign to raise $1.2 million. In March of this year, the Alberta government announced it would be replacing the Delia School, and the DSES was formed to support the school and make a community hub a reality.

A commitment of $120,000 was made to retain a ‘brick and mortar’ in-school library space which will also house the Delia Municipal Library and will either retain or exceed the existing library’s size. Secondly, a $450,000 multi-purpose learning space for both teachers and the community which will be optimized to be used as a classroom, drama, music, art, and fitness area. Further, $630,000 will be used to upgrade the provincial regulation courts into a bigger space which can be used by both the school and by the community for extra-curricular/community events after school hours.

Fundraising has gone well and the society is sitting at about $1.07 Million, 89 per cent of its campaign goal.

“It was a huge milestone,” said DSES president Amber Marshall.

Last week the society announced it went live with a website complete with a portal allowing supporters to make donations online.

  The website outlines a number of ways to show your support whether it is through its Legacy Builder campaign with a one-time donation of $1,000 to $10,000, or a recurring gift. The portal is credit card friendly and donors can receive a tax receipt. They are looking at alumni, former teachers, and community supporters.

Another fundraising initiative they are undertaking is the AG for Ed campaign. They have received a donation of a calf from Shiloh Cattle Company and the Eleanor Rosin family, and are planning to auction it off at the Spring Gala on April 6.

“We are off to a strong start, but we need more helping hands to make this work,” said Nicole Devalariola, DSES Ag for Ed. “Raising a quality beef calf needs the right ingredients. We have a fantastic beginning with Shiloh Cattle’s calf - sourced from their award-winning Angus herd. Now we want to make sure this fella turns into a big beefy prize animal. That means lots of quality feed and a big commitment from our 4H family.”

Once they hit their $1.2 million goal, they will continue with their efforts.

   “The $1.2 million actually goes to the 9,000 square feet we are adding for the community hub. We are building that piece. But the analogy is, great, you build a beautiful house, but what if you don’t have any money to furnish that house?” she explains.

Some of the items they continue to work towards may include bleachers, score clock, a sound system, program support and to develop the green spaces around the facility including a community garden and playground.

“This is the long-term role of the enhancement society to enhance Delia School. It is amazing that we have raised the $1.2 million but our real job for the next 20 years is to keep enhancing the programming capabilities of our school and community hub so we can offer amazing programs and develop our community and lifelong learners,” said Marshall.

To learn more go to

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