The Drumheller Mail sat down with Mayor Heather Colberg this week to discuss ongoing projects, challenges, and her ideas for Drumheller.
DM: Canada Day in Drumheller was great this year. The parade will be in the hands of the new committee next year, how did ‘training’ go this year and are there any concerns or new ideas going forward?
HC: This is why collaboration is so important. With the organization of the new parade committee, the Chamber of Commerce RCMP, and the Town of Drumheller together, it was an incredible and, most importantly, a very safe parade. Thank you to all the parade committee members for stepping forward and to those who volunteered on the day of the event. Without volunteers, this would not have been possible. You just got to love this town.
DM: So it has been decided to replace the fountain. Do you have ideas of what you’d like to see there? What would you say to the people who have criticized the town over its handling of the pool and spray park leaks over the last year?
HC: I personally feel there are so many neat ideas out there, it would be great to see what is best for all. We will be looking for public input this fall for ideas on the future of this space. The fountain has been such an important part of our community and we all love seeing it up and running. Unfortunately, things age and break and council just did not feel throwing good money after bad was the best decision. We were hoping last year’s repair would be the solution, however, it was more complicated than that. Like I explain to people who ask me personally, I tell them that council and administration would love for everything to work so we could get other things done. When you are losing enormous amounts of water, something is seriously wrong. We didn’t want to take the chance of having water destroy electrical controls and lose the spray park as well. Honestly, we as well as the community love the fountain.
DM: There has been some new business development in town recently, do you think development has increased or is this just par for the course here? Are your efforts towards business development in town working?
HC: I just spent two days in Lloydminster and communities across the province are suffering. We have to continue to work to get businesses here because every municipality is vying for the same thing. Council has put together some incentives and between our development officer, economic advisory committy and task force, and economic development manager, they are continually looking for ways to attract more business. We have to do these things to be competitive and that is why we implemented these incentives.
DM: Roger Brooks spoke in Drumheller again recently, delivering a destination assessment on Drumheller. I understand there is a long list of recommendations for energizing Drumheller. What are the priorities and how hard will they be to accomplish?
HC: We were very excited to have Roger Brooks assess our community. I have reviewed his 98 suggestions and I feel we will be able to implement the majority of them in the next 12 months between the town, different groups, businesses, and residents. Many of them are low hanging fruit, so if we all do a little, we all do a lot. All his recommendations are priority.
DM: When talking to people, it seems the common view that one of your strengths is bringing people together to collaborate. Is that true?
HC: I have no agenda other than to see Drumheller prosper and I’m just fortunate people are willing to help. It’s not about what I’m doing, it’s just there are so many people in this town who want to help, so it is important to get them involved. It is so wonderful to see the progress that is being made.
DM: What are some challenges for business here?
HC: We have to figure out a way to be busy 12 months a year. We have to see how we can access complimentary manufacturing, so new businesses are complimenting businesses already here. We are a great conference centre. We have hotels, the Badlands Community Facility -- we have a lot to offer, we just need to keep capitalizing on it. At the end of the day we want to create an environment for both locals and visitors to enjoy. As I said before, business is tough across the province and we will continue to look for ways to help the valley.