Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, July 24, 2023
Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting.
Council gave second and third reading to the West Newcastle and East Newcastle road right-of-way closure bylaws.
These were given first reading and a public hearing held in 2022 to close the road-right-of-way along the Newcastle berm footprint; this will not impact traffic. Response from Alberta Transportation has only just been received by the Town.
Council approved certificate of approvals and resolution for expropriation for three East Coulee properties.
Two are for full buyout of properties which were originally brought before council in April 2023, while the third is for a partial buyout of an additional property which was brought before council in May 2023, to accommodate the footprint of the East Coulee berm. No notice of objection were received from the landowners of any of the properties in question.
Director of Corporate and Community Services Mauricio Reyes presented council with the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. RC Strategies undertook development of the Master Plan in August 2022; this plan will provide recommendations on parks and recreation for a 20 year period between 2023 and 2043.
The finalized document includes recommendations regarding the Town’s recreation facilities, including the Aquaplex and Badlands Community Facility (BCF), as well as parks and trails.
Council approved the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Mr. Reyes presented council with the proposed 2024 franchise fee increase. This increase would only pertain to the electricity franchise fee and compensates the Town for the value of land used to provide these services by ATCO Electric, who is permitted to be the sole electricity distributors in the Town, and is added to gas and electric utility bills.
The electricity franchise fee has not increased in the Town for several years and is below the rates charged by eight other municipalities surveyed, along with the median franchise fee of 12.03 per cent for the communities surveyed.
Council denied the motion to increase the franchise fee.
Mr. Reyes presented the quarterly financial report ending June 2023. Revenues are about 49 per cent realized as of June 2023; about 50 per cent of tax revenues have been received, and Mr. Reyes noted this is expected to increase over the next five to six weeks as the August 31 tax deadline approaches.
Council accepted the report as information.
Council adopted the proposed Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program. The policy will help clarify the roles of council and administration, and serve as a guide and reference document regarding the FCSS program.
Council directed administration to develop a bylaw to establish a Community Development and Social Well-Being Advisory Board.
It would act as an advisory board to council and fulfill duties of FCSS, which will be outlined in the FCSS Program Policy, support increased public awareness of social issues, promote public participation in social research, and monitor progress and outcomes of Town funded social initiatives.
Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett presented council with a briefing note regarding the indoor pool of the Aquaplex (see story on front).
Mr. Brett also presented council with a request for decision for the Make-Up Air Unit (MAU) replacement for the Aquaplex. This was a planned and previously approved update and a total of $300,000 was budgeted in the 2022 budget for this.
It was recommended to award the tender bid to Cremac Metal Products Ltd; their bid of $855,000 initially included work on boilers, which are also approaching end of life, and by removing this work will reduce the bid to $615,515, although this amount is still nearly double the initial budget, and Mr. Brett also recommended allocating an additional $425,000 for this project.
Council approved the additional funding allocation, with one opposed, and awarded the project, with one opposed, to Cremac Metal Products Ltd in the amount of $615,515 excluding GST.
Council adjourned to a closed session.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.