Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, December 17, 2018
Council held a special council meeting prior to the regular committee of the whole meeting.
Council heard an update from Denise Lines of the Council Remuneration Wage Review task force regarding compensation provided to council members. They recommended a number of changes to wording in the policy, as well as recommended a 5 per cent increase in remuneration to both council members and the mayor, and a 1 per cent increase in the honorarium for 2020 and 2021. It was noted a recent federal bill will remove the “one third” tax exemption previously enjoyed by elected officials, in effect on January 1. The task force recommends to increase the daily per diem rate $10, as well as increase the allowed per diem days from 10 to 12 for the mayor and 5 to 7 days for council. An annual cell phone allowance as well as a portion of medical benefits were recommended as well. The task force suggested they should review the policy every two years, with Councillor Jay Garbutt recommending that in the future the review be completed as close to election as possible. A request for direction from corporate services director Barb Miller will be brought to council in January.
Council passed second and third readings of the Utility Rate Bylaw. A chart comparing rates to similar sized communities was provided and showed Drumheller is actually in the bottom third of comparable communities.
Council heard an update from deputy CAO Miller regarding proposed service fee changes, which largely consist of nominal increases to fees. The full document is available on www.dinosaurvalley.com.
Council approved a request for decision to authorize expenses in 2019 of expenditures not included in the budget and occurring before the budget is passed.
The regular committee of the whole meeting was called to order.
Council heard delegation from Kevin Blanchett of the town’s public works department. Mr. Blanchett suggested making modification to the annual spring clean up plan, possibly to change it to happening every two years. He also suggested potentially moving the clean up to the fall to better accommodate other public works projects. Councillor
Garbutt voiced concern that it is an important service for residents. Mayor Heather Colberg suggested the clean up may actually create a build up of waste as residents wait for each year for spring clean up. Mr. Blanchett made recommendations to reduce costs for the municipal airport after being asked to look at a 5 per cent budget reduction, and made a series of recommendations regarding airport lighting on the runway as their system is currently down. Councillor Fred Makowecki said he has issues with numerous aspects of the airport and said perhaps council should look at changing how the airport is operated. Councillor Garbutt agreed and said discussion of the town divesting from the airport has been a topic of discussion.
Council heard a delegation from April Harrison and Laura Dougan of Family and Community Support Services. Ms. Harrison said there have been some staffing changes over the last year, and FCSS has organized a number of events such as the Picnic in the Park, the seniors dinner, and other community services. FCSS is applying for a number of grants this year. Council heard results from a recent poverty study in the Drumheller community. She said we need more affordable housing and rental units in Drumheller, now and in the future. She said there is a significant need in Drumheller for a temporary shelter and individuals must travel to nearby urban centres if needed. Ms. Harrison identified a number of areas of cost reduction to the FCSS