Information from Drumheller Town Council Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, January 17, 2022
Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and announced there will be a virtual Flood Mitigation meeting regarding the community of Lehigh on February 3, and registration is open for the event.
Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Drohomerski presented the Strategic Priorities. It is a multi-year document and council were asked to review the document to ensure no information is missing. This will be attached to council agendas going forward and will be updated at the March Committee of the Whole meeting.
Director of Protective Services Greg Peters presented council with a COVID-19 update. With the Omicron variant, cases have risen across the province and there is a positivity rate of over 37 per cent in the province with over 820 people in the hospital, 81 in ICU, and ICU capacity is at 80 per cent. While Omicron seems to have less severe symptoms and outcomes than the previous Delta variant, Mr. Peters noted it poses new challenges. As of the morning of Monday, January 17 there were 90 active cases in the Town of Drumheller.
Mr. Peters shared the Town is taking part in the wastewater monitoring program through the University of Calgary. The wastewater system is being monitored and data is being collected and interpreted by the University of Calgary to get a better idea of possible infections within the community. Between January 6 and January 12 the analysis showed an increasing concentration of COVID-19 in wastewater.
Wastewater gives up to a week lead time on identifying rising case counts and outbreaks according to Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett, which can help the Town and Alberta Health Services (AHS) prepare for outbreaks and rising case numbers.
Director of Financial Services Mauricio Reyes presented council with the proposed 2022 capital budget and 10-year capital plan. It is anticipated the 2022 Capital Budget will be brought before council for consideration at the January 24 council meeting. The operating budget will be brought to council for consideration at the end of February.
The capital budget includes a total of 43 projects which total some $10.74 million. This amount does not include any expenses directly related to flood mitigation projects, though some planned projects will be completed in conjunction with flood mitigation work. Among these projects include rebuilding Michichi Creek sanitary crossing due to dike work that will be carried out in the area estimated at $1.5 million, upgrades to Centennial Park as part of the Downtown Area Revitalization Plan for $500,000, improvements to the Newcastle Recreation area for $100,000, and the relocation of the northwest exit door at the Aquaplex due to flood mitigation work in the area estimated at $45,000.
The Department of Infrastructure will also begin carrying out the Bridge Culvert program as discussed during the Monday, January 10 council meeting.
Mr. Reyes also presented council with the 10-year capital plan, which shows proposed capital projects and projected costs up to 2031.
Mr. Brett noted the grant for the Drumheller Institution water booster station, which also supplies water to the Churchill water system among others, was declined as it was deemed ineligible by the province. This was identified as an essential infrastructure project, though the Town has not yet looked into whether this project is eligible for federal funding as it feeds the federal penitentiary.
Council moved to a closed session and adjourned the meeting.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on
www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.