From parking to skiing, 2010 has been a news year to remember. The last year has seen triumphs, defeats and controversy, and The Mail and inSide Drumheller have been busy following every twist and turn.
10. Lace your sneakers
Organizers of the first Dinosaur Valley Half Marathon pulled off a coupe this year staging the first ever event. Race day included a 5-kilometre run and the full half marathon. While organizers felt any number would be a success to build on, they had more than 400 participate in the two races, including a healthy contingent of local runners. Organizers constantly stressed the success of the event was dependent on volunteers, and its crew pulled it off. After retaining seed money for the second annual event, the organizers were able to donate $4,000 to the Badlands Community Facility. The future of the event looks bright. Community Futures has committed to be the naming sponsor for the second year, and they are planning to add a 10-kilometre event, even more reason to use the new runners that were waiting under the Christmas tree.
9. The pounding has stopped, walls to go up
After much anticipation, there has been lots of activity at the site of the Badlands Community Facility. While some site work commenced last fall, in July, there was an official ground-breaking ceremony and shortly thereafter like clockwork, the pounding of the piles for the foundation rang throughout the valley. The construction has continued through the winter and it is expected that shortly some of the overhead steel will be delivered and erected. In the meantime, residents have been getting behind the project with fundraising efforts and donations. The Fundraising Committee has hired a consultant to help guide their campaign. The facility’s tentative completion date is August 2011.
8. Water, water,
This is one issue that virtually every candidate in the municipal election cited as one of the main concerns moving forward. While the water treatment plant has undergone millions of dollars of upgrades, once again this summer residents received a dose of cloudy water. While all investigations reveal the water is safe, and the water leaving the plant is clean, it appears the problem may be in the lines. On August 26, the Town of Drumheller outlined its response which included flushing programs and continuing to replace worn out cast iron lines in the downtown area. Last fall, the town employed a camera to survey some of the main line and is developing a physical pipe-cleaning program. Many candidates latched on to the issue during the municipal election.
7. Musical Ride
stampedes through Drumheller
Drumheller was able to secure the RCMP Musical Ride when it toured Western Canada this summer, and residents were appreciative. This was a first for the valley and hundreds came to the two performances on August 11 and were treated to a display of horsemanship that is unparalleled. The funds from the event benefited Big Country Victims Association and the Drumheller Stampede and Agricultural Society.
6. Brushing up on
The lead up to this began years ago when changes to the Gordon Taylor Bridge were proposed. It was not until they were put in place that residents took notice to the ramifications of traffic flow. The biggest change was that 3rd Avenue in downtown would no longer support angle parking. The Town of Drumheller constructed two parking lots to help supplement the lost spaces. A campaign spearheaded by downtown merchants garnered support through a survey printed in The Drumheller Mail. The result was that 1,680 respondents wanted parking to be left as it was. Town Council struck a task force that included major stakeholders and after some tweaking, the town adopted the strategy you see today.
5. Drumheller comes together for Charmont family
No one could imagine the pain that Terra and Megan Charmont felt after an explosion robbed the family of its father, son, brother and husband. Chris and his son John Charmont, 9, lost their lives November 14 in Mexico in an explosion at the resort where they were staying. In this tragedy, the community of Drumheller mourned and supported the family. Immediately co-workers began a trust fund, and close friends encircled the family offering support in any way they could.
Community groups and organizations have found ways to support the family in their time of need. Drumheller Minor Hockey also stepped to the forefront. Through her loss, Terra Charmont has found the resolve to bring justice for her boys and to raise awareness of the risk of travelling in Mexico.
4. Catch a Fire
The build up was almost a year in the making, but it paid off in spades as Drumheller resident Martin McSween carried the Olympic Torch into the Passion Play site in front of a healthy number of spectators. Behind the scenes, a local committee worked to line up top entertainment, assemble volunteers and coordinate the day. Roots country singer Corb Lund performed, as did local choirs and dancers. It was a moment that Drumheller could be proud of.
3. To ski or not to ski
While the year is drawing to a close, this issue is not going away. While it appeared an agreement was in place to see long-term viability of the ski hill in October 2009, there was no follow-through on the execution. In May, the Ski Club lost its non-profit status and by this fall, deals began to fall apart. In November, the Town of Drumheller withdrew its offer to purchase agreement because there was no longer a club. Other complications, including a lawsuit and foreclosure action on the property, are now on the table. While just last week, the Ski Club was resurrected, and while both sides want to see the property used as a ski hill for years to come, there are issues that need to be ironed out before residents can enjoy skiing in the valley.
In September, the federal government announced a $25 million expansion to the Drumheller Institution. This will add another 96 beds to the medium security unit and 50 beds to the minimum security annex. The Institution opened its doors in 1967, and provided long-term viability to the community as a steady employer. This expansion guarantees that the institution will continue to be a big part of Drumheller for years to come.
1. Tyrrell celebrates
The Tyrrell, which has provided viability, and identity to Drumheller, reached two milestones this summer. 25 years ago, it opened its doors to the world, and since then, the world kept coming. It has developed into a premier Alberta attraction, while at the same time has become a leader in the scientific field. On September 25, the museum marked the occasion inviting Premier Ed Stelmach, MLA Jack Hayden, MP Kevin Sorenson and former Premier Peter Lougheed, who cut the ribbon when the museum first opened. True to the original museum director’s expectations, this year also marked the museum’s 10 millionth visitor, a tribute to the hard work of all who have contributed to the museum over the past two and a half decades. This was rewarded as the museum also was presented with the Alberta Pride Alto Award.