Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, November 20, 2023
Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and made some opening announcements. Councillor Tom Zariski announced the Festival of Trees at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on Friday, November 24 and the Festival of Lights on Saturday, November 25 in downtown Drumheller.
Council approved a request from a resident to waive a portion of the municipal taxes for a property located at 1100 2 Avenue West, which was partially destroyed by a house fire in August of this year. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski explained a letter was received from the occupants requesting that the municipal portion of the property tax roll be waived from September 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 as the property has been uninhabitable for an extensive period of time. The improvement portion of the structure is valued at $208,000 with the waived portion estimated at approximately $604.92; the property owner will still be responsible for an estimated $3,121.83 of the total 2023 tax notice.
Council approved resolution for expropriation for a total of five properties located in the community of Lehigh. Flood Resiliency Program project director Deighen Blakely explained a study in early 2022 concluded berm construction was not considered a viable option to protect the community in the event of a flood event. Residents of the community were notified in January 2022 and negotiations for floodway buyouts have been ongoing between landowners and land agents.
Resolution approving expropriation was passed by council in August 2023 and Notice of Intention to Expropriate was served to landowners of the affected properties.
Council approved the abatement of 25 per cent of the 2022 municipal property taxes for a business located at 382 Centre Street under the Non-Residential Development Incentive Program bylaw. Economic Development manager Reg Johnston explained council passed bylaw for a development incentive program for non-residential businesses in January 2020 which allows for the abatement of up 50 per cent of the first year’s municipal taxes, pro-rated from the business opening, and 25 per cent in the second year; an application from the business owner was received in October 2023.
He noted, as the property was created through a subdivision in 2021, no taxes were levied in 2021, and in the second year the total municipal taxes were $2,127.47 resulting in an abatement of $531.87 at the 25 per cent abatement rate. This will be applied as a credit in the 2024 tax year.
Council adjourned to a closed session prior to opening the public hearing.
CAO Drohomerski explained there were a number of property boundary inconsistencies in the Grove Plaza berm area which required resolution. Some of the parcel was designated as a municipal reserve and, in order to make changes, this status must be removed. There were no presenters scheduled to speak at the hearing either remotely or in person; there was one question submitted which CAO Drohomerski was able to answer prior to the meeting, but no other written submissions were received.
Council approved a 20 year land lease for a parcel of land in North Drumheller on Bridge Street, south of The Old Grouch’s, which is owned by an estate. The land would be leased by the Town for park land, which could be used as a community garden or other passive garden space, similar to Munchie Park in downtown Drumheller; there is significant hydrocarbon contamination on this land as it was previously a service station. This lease agreement would pass down to heirs of the estate.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.