Drumheller Town Council
Regular Council Meeting
Monday, January 7, 2019
Council approved a request for decision for the approval of a payment to Knibb Developments in the amount of $50,810 for the creation and installation of the artwork “Ironosaurus Wreck” located at the Badlands Community Facility. Once approved a cheque will be issued to Knibb Developments, where they will then issue a donation cheque back to the town for the same amount and be treated as a donation, ultimately not costing the town any money.
Council heard a review of strategic business plan work. Economic Development Officer Julia Fielding said work is being done on a flood communication plan, which she said will be communicated to the public this year. Administration is working to communicate necessary flood preparedness information to residents prior to seasonal flooding in the spring. Ms. Fielding updated on the downtown development strategy, saying work is continuing on creating a unified colour palette, blade signs, and storefront improvement projects council gave direction for at a previous meeting. Council heard an update regarding the demolition of the former Elk’s Club building and Mr. Drohomerski said they are working with Telus, ATCO, and Shaw regarding the demolition as there is a fibre optic wire buried nearby. It is expected work will be completed by the end of March. Mr Drohomerski updated council on the dyke design work which will be completed in spring, with tenders planned to be advertised in March.
Council heard update on the downtown plaza. The town is looking at potentially turning the Elk’s building site into a place for the plaza this coming summer. Discussions will come with the capital budget discussions coming at the end of this month. Director of Corporate Services Barb Miller said they have conducted interviews regarding a municipal accountant for the Infrastructure Master Plan but are still looking for a candidate. Council heard discussion from the park and pay program at tourist sites from Director of Protective Services Greg Peters. Mayor Heather Colberg said the town provides the parking at the hoodoos as the province owns the hoodoos. She said the town is responsible for maintaining parking there. She clarified it was simply discussion for council and said anyone with concerns can reach out to council. In a request for a decision regarding a pay and park system, Mr. Peters presented research he conducted on two options, one being an electronic Park Plus system and the other an honour box system. See story on page 1 for more details. Councillor Jay Garbutt said the request was a way for the town to monetize assets to offset associated costs of tourism, and both he and Councillor Tony Lacher said the Park Plus option was a better choice to recover costs of the system. Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk said past councils have looked into park and pay systems and she would like to see a decision made.
Councillor Fred Makowecki said the cost of paving the parking lots and adding restrooms costs a significant amount of money, and that residents should not be paying associated tourism costs. A motion was made for the town to spend a maximum of $5,000 on an honour box at the Hoodoo location site. Mr. Peters expressed concern over vandalism and theft from the honour box at that location, and recommended having a trial at the World’s Largest Dinosaur. Mr. Drohomerski recommended council defeat the motion so administration had a few more weeks to come to a solution, suggesting that paying someone to collect money at the Hoodoos might be more viable and safer. Councillor Garbutt expressed support for a honour box at the WLD. Councillor Zariski inquired about Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk’s idea of using a ‘text-to-donate’ option. All councillors were opposed to the motion and it was defeated. More information will be brought back by Mr. Peters on February 11.
Council held round-table discussions. Councillor Makowecki asked for an update on the hiring of an economic development officer and director of infrastructure. Mr. Drohomerski said they’ve conducted interviews for the director of infrastructure position, with hopes to complete all interviews by the end of January. An economic development officer has been hired and will be announced shortly.
Council moved in to a private session to discuss staff long service and recognition policy.