Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, June 5, 2023
Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and made some opening remarks. Councillor Tom Zariski recognized the week of June 5 to June 11 as Seniors’ Week, which recognizes the contributions of senior citizens across the province; he also congratulated the St. Anthony’s graduating class of 2023, which took place on Saturday, June 3 (see photo Page 12).
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski noted there will be some intermittent lane closures along Riverside Drive near 3 Avenue East due to flood mitigation work.
Director of Corporate and Community Services Mauricio Reyes presented council with a request for direction to establish a volunteer advisory committee for the Drumheller Valley Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). He explained the FCSS program director or Community and Development Support Program (CDSP) manager provides updates to council throughout the year. Without a dedicated volunteer advisory committee, oversight of the program and these duties often are delegated to the program director.
Council directed administration to develop a bylaw and Terms of Reference for a volunteer advisory committee and recruit members to support the program.
Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation project director Deighen Blakely presented council with a request to begin the expropriation process on three parcels where a portion of a parcel is required for flood mitigation construction in North Drumheller for the Michichi Creek East Berm and Michichi Creek West Berm. Ms.Blakely explained discussions and negotiations have been ongoing with landowners since November 2022 but, as of this time, no agreements at fair market value have been reached. Due to the lengthy timeframe for the process, and as work is anticipated to begin in spring 2024, this is just to begin the process and does not negate potential further negotiations.
Council unanimously approved the request to begin the expropriation process on the three partial parcels for construction of the Michichi Creek East and Michichi Creek West berms.
Economic Development manager Reg Johnston presented council with amendments to the Residential Development Incentive Program. Council previously directed administration to amend the Residential Development Incentive Program due to a lack of uptake since it was passed; among the recommendations made included removal of price caps on residential listings and rentals, and the addition of titled RV lot incentives.
Once the document is public, Mr. Johnston will be engaging with some real estate businesses, and it was also recommended to reach out to developers, to discuss the program.
Council gave first and second reading to the bylaw and will hold third reading at a later date.
Mr. Johnston presented council with a request for decision to award the Non-Residential Development Incentive Program. Rock Central Tattoo converted a residence, located at 130 Centre Street, for their commercial business operation, and are the only tenant. They have been in operation since February 2022 and the location was vacant for more than six months.
Under the Non-Residential Development Incentive Program they are eligible to receive a 50 per cent credit to their municipal portion of commercial taxation to a maximum of $2,000 for the 2022 tax year, and 25 per cent credit, to a maximum of $1,000, for the 2023 tax year.
Council approved the award of $972 for the 2022 tax year, and $606.35 for the 2023 tax year, totalling $1,578.35.
Mr. Reyes presented a request to cancel the municipal portion of the 2023 property taxes for Sandstone Manor. This is a normal housekeeping item due to the contract between the Town and the Housing Authority, which has been in place since May 2009. Although the municipal portion is waived, the municipality is still mandated to charge provincial requisitions for the Drumheller and Area Seniors Foundation and provincial education fund.
Council unanimously approved the request to cancel the 2023 municipal portion of property taxes for Sandstone Manor.
Director of Emergency and Protective Services Greg Peters presented council with a request for decision regarding implementation of a paid parking program within the community. (See story Page 3).
Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett presented council with a request of no award for the Memorial Arena fifth dressing room addition. Administration has been renting a portable ATCO structure to act as a temporary dressing room for the last two years and in 2022 began the design phase to permanently add a fifth dressing room, and a tender was completed in 2023.
The total budget for the project is $350,000, with $50,000 allocated for consulting fees--total construction totalling $300,000. A total of seven bids were received, which came in much higher than the total project budget, with the lowest bid of $655,121 excluding GST, and the highest bid coming in at over $1.17 million excluding GST.
It was recommended for council to not award the tender to any of the bidders due to the cost overages and purchase an ATCO module and install it as a permanent dressing room structure; this will have an estimated minimum cost of $200,000 with additional operational requirements including trucking out septage and delivering water.
Council approved the non-award and purchase of a permanent ATCO module.