Heritage steering committee takes shape to preserve past | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Heritage steering committee takes shape to preserve past


    The valley brims with remnants of Drumheller’s rich history, and with the formation of a steering committee the town and two partners are looking to make sure historic monuments stay in existence.

    As councillor Tom Zariski volunteered for the Heritage Steering Committee plans which were set in motion over a year ago are starting to roll. Representatives from both the Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Big Country will join Zariski and two volunteer members of the public to begin a heritage inventory on landmarks in Drumheller.
    Heritage surveys have already taken place in Drumheller, with consultants coming into town last year who said 85 per cent of buildings in the downtown care have historical potential. That’s a significantly higher number than other communities in Alberta, Director of Community Services Paul Salvatore said.
    A ‘heritage inventory’ is planned to be completed by fall of this year. A $50,000 budget has been given to this project by the previous town council and with the chamber and Community Futures, the Heritage Steering Committee will oversee this inventory. The inventory gives a baseline for identifying which buildings are most historically significant.
    “It gives you an appreciation for the heritage resource that we have. Drumheller obviously has so many great attractions visitors, but this is a very important thing for us as a community to step up and recognize the value these buildings have. We need to realize what we have.”
    This project would most likely lead to the ability of the town to designate properties as municipal heritage sites. “It sets in motion for the process for us to construct a municipal preservations bylaw,” said Salvatore, while adding it’s ultimately up to council to decide whether to instill a similar bylaw.
    “It opens up funding which would not necessarily exist for those properties,” said Salvatore. “Then you can identify historic items for a particular property, then apply for grants to upgrade or restore the property.
    “It gives us a baseline of information on the history of our buildings. Every day that goes by, we lose a little piece of that story and if we can document it, we’ll be able to preserve it and have a better sense of what it was and how it involves our history.”
    After the heritage inventory is completed, Drumheller would once again qualify for the Alberta Main Street Program. It provides a membership network, funding and expertise to municipalities to help restore historic integrity and architectural character to traditional main streets across Alberta. Drumheller would then qualify for grants and programs to further benefit the downtown core.

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