Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, December 4, 2017 Mayor Heather Colberg called the Committee of the Whole meeting to order at 4:32 p.m.
Council started off by listening to the Drumheller Public Library board. Director of Library Services Emily Hollingshead and library board member Vanessa Page explained both summer and school year programs as well as outreach programs. The library was host to two main summer camps this year. They create a budget along with a Plan of Service every three years.
Travel Drumheller was next to present their organizational update on current services and growth within the tourism industry. Carrie Lunde of the Royal Tyrrell Museum and Alyssa Berry presented.
Travel Drumheller has a vision to make Drumheller a sought out, year-round top travel destination of Alberta and the world.
A key highlight for the past year included a revamped Travel Drumheller website. They are the main driver between tourists and businesses within the Valley. They had 30,000 to 50,000 website visits in the high season this year and 15,000 in the low season.
Another highlight was a redesigned exploration guide that held a magazine style. It was content driven, not a revenue maker. For the new distribution, they will make 80 per cent of the guides produced placed outside of Drumheller to draw people in and increase the amount of copies to 40,000. They explained their 2018 goals such as growing their social media platforms, robust digital focused marketing campaigns, marketing buy-in program, media partnerships, and regular website updates, and turning Drumheller into an all-year round destination. They also discussed their yearly budget including the revenue and expenses associated with the entire tourism related entity
Citizen on Patrols (COP) gave a brief update on their year in review. They explained their purpose and how operations are run through volunteer work. COP works with the local RCMP to help create a safer community. They wish to increase their presence in the area. 114 patrols were made in 2016 but only 90 in 2017 so far. In 2016, they were on patrol for 398.8 hours. In 2017, they have done 270 hours.
They wish to have a main meeting place for work, equipment, and sensitive information. They are hoping to patrol all week but have found this to be very difficult with no central meeting place.
They also explained how the public can become a COP member and having 40 members would let the COP operate seven days a week. Currently 20 members are involved with COP. Council agreed to look further into finding a safe space for the Drumheller COP group
Council reviewed the 2018 water and wastewater rates for the Town of Drumheller. They looked at legislative provisions governing these water utilities, why rate models are prepared beforehand, interrelationship of the rate models and other financial plans, the council’s rate objectives, and different 2018 rate models could be implemented.
Robert (Bob) Jenkins was the facilitator of the presentation. He has undertaken preparation of the 2015, 2017, and 2018 utility rate models for Drumheller.
Drumheller supplies water to Aqua 7 Regional Water Services Commission, Starland County, and Kneehill County. These rates do not need to be approved by the Alberta utilities commission however there is a right of appeal of customers to the AUC.
For the CAO’s quarterly report, Darryl Drohomerski reported the town continues to work on flood mitigation related issues. In the last quarter, council approved the 2017 Infrastructure Strategy. This is a document that allows the town to manage its own infrastructure. The strategy focuses primarily on maintaining and replacing existing infrastructure.
CAO Darryl Drohomerski also gave the Director of Infrastructure report as the new candidate for the position is yet to be finalized. They are continuing work on the aquaplex modernization. No date has been set for re-opening. The town also completed its LED light replacement at the Drumheller Memorial Arena for both interior and exterior fixtures.
Corporate Services Director Barb Miller reports that over-all expenses appear to be on track with individual services, trending to be on or below target. Tax receivable balances as of August 31, were approximately $190,000 higher than in the previous year
Director of Community Services Paul Salvatore highlighted a new design for the revitalization of downtown. They are working with company Urban Systems for this design. A concept has been received and will only be shared with stakeholders.
Protective Services Director Greg Peters reported on a tourism corridor bylaw which has been completed and sent to the CAO for his review. This is to help the town maintain, enhance and preserve its characters, scenery, history, and aesthetics. They are continuing to work on a regional emergency services master plan with the final draft to be delivered to the contractor in December.