Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, March 21, 2022
Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski presented council with the first reading of the Road Closure Bylaw 05.22 to close a portion of Riverside Drive East for upcoming flood mitigation work in the area. He explained all bylaws must pass three readings and, in order for further discussion to take place and to schedule a public hearing, council must pass the first reading.
Council passed the first reading and scheduled the public hearing for Tuesday, April 19; the public hearing is expected to be held in person in council chambers.
Director of Corporate Services Mauricio Reyes presented council with the 2022 Supplementary Assessment Bylaw 04.22. He explained this bylaw is a regular housekeeping bylaw to assess improvements added to properties after December 31 of the previous year.
Council passed first and second reading and, with no objections, then passed third and final reading.
CAO Drohomerski presented the Repeal Bylaw 02.22 to repeal the Prepayment of Taxes Bylaw 19.16. Corporate Services reviewed the Prepayment of Taxes program in 2019 and during the November 27, 2019 council meeting it was recommended Bylaw 19.16 be repealed. Council agreed through a motion, however, this was never done.
Council gave first and second reading and, with no objections, gave third and final reading.
CAO Drohomerski shared an update on the tree removal program. The program is moving ahead and trees marked by the Community Advisory Committee are being put aside to save for a community project. The town will also put aside trees to be used as firewood for community events such as the Festival of Lights. Other trees will be turned to mulch which will be free to residents; notice will be given once this mulch is ready and available to the public.
Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) project director Deighen Blakely presented council with an amendment to the Financial Audit completed by Ascend Financial for the period of January 1 to June 30, 2021.
She explained the audit report was adjusted from the original version presented to council on February 22. A property purchased in 2020, through an error, was not included in the original report; the total land expenditures were amended from $3,922,310 to $4,737,310 and overall expenditures from $11,201,193 to $12,016,193.
Mr. Reyes presented the 2022 Operating Budget of $9,273,404 to council. The draft 2022 Operating Budget was previously brought before council on Monday, March 7 to collect feedback and share recommended amendments to the draft.
Based on feedback, administration increased the investment revenue from a proposed $415,000 to $475,000 due to rising interest rates; the amortization amount was also increased from $1,608,032 to $1,609,960.
The town received a more accurate estimate of policing costs and the budget for this is being increased from $1,459,560 to $1,517,632; the policing cost was downloaded onto municipalities by the province in 2020.
Wages and salaries are higher than in 2021 as recreation facilities were not operating as usual throughout 2021; Mr. Reyes noted, had the facilities been able to operate as usual these expenses would have been around $7.3 million. The proposed 2022 salaries and benefits are $7.49 million due to recreation adjustments and the creation of new positions.
Council had several questions about the proposed budget and made additional recommendations and suggestions, including bringing down the proposed tax rate increase; administration was asked to make further amendments to the proposed budget and bring it back to council again for consideration at a later date.
Council adjourned to a closed session. The next regular council meeting is Monday, April 4.