Drumheller Town Council Regular Meeting
and Public Hearing
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and Councillor Tony Lacher acknowledged Thursday, April 28 as Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski presented council with a request for decision to close a road right-of-way in Rosedale following a land sale. There are three parcels needing to be closed; Area A was previously sold due to a permitted use, and a home is built into the road right of way.
Council gave first reading to the road closure bylaw and set the public hearing for Monday, May 16.
Director of Protective Services Greg Peters presented council with his quarterly report due to his absence from the April 11 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Protective Services have engaged in their spring emergency preparedness and have reviewed their existing emergency plan. A tabletop exercise was held in March and inventory checks of supplies have been carried out. The department is working with Infrastructure Services and Flood Mitigation departments.
Council adjourned the regular council meeting and took a 10 minute recess ahead of the scheduled 5:30 p.m. public hearing for the proposed Riverside Drive road closure.
Mayor Colberg opened the public hearing and outlined procedures for speakers during the hearing. She explained in order to schedule a public hearing council must first give first reading of a bylaw and this does not mean the bylaw has been passed as every bylaw must be given three readings.
About 25 people attended the public hearing in person with four people pre-registered to speak and five people registered the day of the hearing to speak; a total of 19 written submissions were received ahead of the deadline, with one in favour and 18 opposed.
CAO Drohomerski explained, regardless of whether it is decided from the public hearing to fully or partially close Riverside Drive, a portion of the road right-of-way for Riverside Drive must be closed for ongoing flood mitigation work on the Downtown Dike. This bylaw and public hearing will help expediate the process as it will allow the Town to potentially reopen a portion of the road if this is an option decided later.
All information from the public hearing will be collected and sent to Alberta Transportation for review. This process can take upwards of several months.
Flood Mitigation project director Deighen Blakely explained the province increased the design flood from 1,640 cubic metres per second (cm/s) to 1,850 cm/s, or roughly three feet higher than the 2005 flood event, and berms must be built to this level plus freeboard.
The Downtown Dike will protect critical infrastructure, municipal buildings, medical buildings, and several private residences and multi-unit dwellings. However, this will require an increase to the existing berm of about 0.5 metre to 2.5 metre rise and, due to space constraints along Riverside Drive, there are some challenges to constructing the berm in this area.
The recommended design option is to close a two-block section of Riverside Drive. It is estimated the closure will cost somewhere between $1.9 million and $3.2 million and is the least costly option as it does not require a retaining wall. The original budget for this segment of protection was $3.72 million, and the current cost estimate is $5.1 million.
Mayor Colberg will be advocating to get more funding for the program in the near future as the province has increased the initial design flow rates.
Ms. Blakely explained a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) and traffic survey were conducted due to concerns from the community and stakeholders. The TIA looked at alternate travel routes and the potential traffic impacts, along with impacts on emergency response time. Three intersections were determined to have delays and some mitigation options were identified to alleviate possible congestion.
The Town is currently working on some of these improvements to improve traffic flow to the downtown area as part of the Downtown Area Revitalization Plan (DARP).
It was reiterated, regardless of what is approved by Alberta Transportation and council, any alignment alternatives for the Downtown Dike will require at least some closure of Riverside Drive.
Following community members speaking portion, all written correspondence were read into record by communications officers Erica Crocker and Bret Crowle.
The public hearing was closed.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on
www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.