Drumheller Town Council
Regular Council Meeting
Monday, November 26, 2018
CAO Darryl Drohomerski presented council with utility rate scenarios and comparisons to other communities in regards to setting the utility rates for 2019. Drohomerski said the increase of 5 per cent for water and 2 per cent for waste water because the town was set to better cover expenses related to the utilities and to place money into reserves for improvement projects and amortization. The current
rates are barely covering costs and aren’t saving for the future, he said. Councillor Tony Lacher said he agreed with the increase but asked if administration could look at changing the winter and summer wastewater rates from 80 per cent in the summer to 60 percent in summer and 100 per cent in winter. Councillor Jay Garbutt said this summer discount is not commonplace in other municipalities and ratepayers may not know this. Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk said most families have higher overall utility bills in the winter and would likely not welcome an increase. Councillor Kristyne DeMott made it clear the town was charging less than water utilities cost the town. Mayor Heather Colberg asked council to consider creating a multi-year plan for the utility rate budget. An amended second reading of the utility bylaw with a multi-year plan will be brought to council next week
Council held first reading of Bylaw 22.18 being a bylaw for the purpose of implementing a tax incentive program for owners of an existing non-residential vacant building. First reading was passed and it will be brought to the next meeting for second reading and discussion.
Council heard a request for decision from director of corporate services Barb Miller for the write off of bad debt on utility accounts, totalling just over $3,600. Miller said the number of bad accounts has diminished. She said an allowance for bad debt written last year would cover the debt and it would not affect town finances. Council approved the request.
A public hearing was held to consider Bylaw 18.18, being a bylaw to close a portion of unused and undeveloped street on Riverside Avenue. No members of the public attended. They received correspondence from Alta Gas saying they need easement, or the right to access the land.
A public hearing was held to consider Bylaw 16.18, being a bylaw to amend the Land Use Bylaw to designate a plot of land in north Drumheller on Bridge Street from Highway Commercial to Residential. A representative from Palliser Municipal Service who said there is a single detached office building on this property but the owners want
to turn it into a residential property. Neighbours had been notified and a notice was published for two weeks in the Drumheller Mail. He said Palliser has no concerns with redesignating the property. After the public hearing, council approved second and third reading of the amendment.