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Council Notes from the Committee of the Whole Meeting of Monday, February 11, 2019

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Council Notes
Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, February 11, 2019

 

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Council heard results from communications officer Julia Fielding regarding online survey results for recycling options. Regarding curbside recycling, 72 per cent of 855 online respondents were in favour, with 54 per cent in favour of alternate week pick up and 40 per cent in favour of weekly collection. Respondents were nearly split 50/50 on whether there should be commingled collection or sorted collections. Organic waste collection was a split issue, with 35 per cent in favour, 28 not in favour, and 32 per cent saying it would depend on the cost. Most people were in favour of paying between $8-11 per month for the service. Councillor Jay Garbutt asked if there was an estimate for operational costs of a program. CAO Darryl Drohomerski said there was variability whether it was weekly or biweekly pickup, and comingled or sorted, and said the $8-11 was close to what they were looking at. Councillor Garbutt asked what the capital investment costs would be, with Mr. Drohomerski saying it would depend on the system used, but cited additional costs for purchasing bins and increased staff for sorting. Councillor Tom Zariski said the results were good but council would need more statistical and cost estimate information from administration to move forward with a decision, with Mr. Drohomerski agreeing. Mayor Heather Colberg said she spoke to a mayor of another town which recently switched and they saw an increase in recycling having to go to the landfill because it was contaminated, as well as additional staff to educate and enforce proper recycling, and said the town should look carefully at options going forward.
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Director of Protective Services Greg Peters brought ideas for paid parking at the Hoodoo tourist site. He said at least two staff would be required to collect funds at the site if council wanted to collect from paid parking that way. He said a traffic plan would be needed to ensure traffic isn’t backed up onto the highway. He estimated a cost of $15,000 - $18,000 for staff and to purchase digital fund collection machines. Councillor Fred Makowecki asked if there would be issue to blocking access to a provincial site, with Councillor Garbutt saying individuals are legally allowed to refuse to pay but most people would willingly pay a nominal fee to a valuable service. CAO Drohomerski said the paid parking would be introduced at the Hoodoo site as a pilot test. Councillor Garbutt said if the potential revenue is not at least double to operating costs then he wondered why they would pursue the project. CAO Drohomerski said the site gets about 200,000 visitors and estimated 500-1,000 on a Saturday, and with an estimate of $2 per car with a ballpark of four people in each car, would generate much more than the startup costs over the summer. An estimate of $200,000 was provided by CAO Drohomerski to refurbish both the washrooms and the parking lot there, with a plan in place to increase the size of the parking lot. Council gave approval to move forward with the pilot project.
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Mr. Peters presented a draft of a Public Behaviour Bylaw which included prohibitions not included in the existing Community Standard Bylaw, which includes bullying, cannabis and tobacco consumption, bullying, fighting, loitering, and public defecation offences. Councillor Garbutt asked to see fines for public consumption of cannabis and tobacco increased to be similar to other rates included in the bylaw (they were drafted at $50 for first offences and $100 subsequently).
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CAO Drohomerski presented a draft of the Tourism Corridor Property Standards bylaw, which would set higher appearance and upkeep standards for properties along busy tourist routes in Drumheller. Areas in Drumheller would be divided into either ‘Priority 1 or 2 areas,’ which were not included in the draft bylaw provided but included areas like downtown and major highways coming into town. Highlights include a shortened time period for property owners to correct unsightly premises, property owners to ensure waste is properly contained and regularly collected, and increased standards for maintaining grass and weeds. CAO Drohomerski said affected property owners will be notified and communicated with. Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk voiced concern over the drafted fine of $500 for first time offences on business’ who were victim of graffiti, saying often removing graffiti can be costly for property owners, with CAO Drohomerski taking note.
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Councillor Makowecki brought two items for discussions from his role with the Drumheller and District Solid Waste Management Committee: SAEWA (Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association) membership and Extended Producer Responsibility. He suggested the town express their non-interest in encouraging DDSWM’s membership to SAEWA due to increased costs, questionable evidence the program is more environmentally friendly, and that the Drumheller landfill still has 50 years of life left. He presented a letter from the mayor of Acme and encouraged council send a letter of support to the initiative. The EPR framework incentivizes producers to create more recyclable materials.
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Mayor Heather Colberg brought a discussion forward over the accounts receivable policy on delinquent accounts, over concerns that funds were not being collected or that the policy was not being followed. After a discussion in open council, a motion was made to move in camera.


Council Notes from the Regular Council meeting of Monday, February 4, 2019

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Council unanimously approved a decision to appoint Tracy Breese as the new Development Officer.
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Council unanimously approved a decision to appoint Bella Niles to the Heritage, Arts, and Culture Committee for no fixed term. Council noted more people are needed for the committee.
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Council unanimously approved a decision to appoint bylaw officer Lesley Pepper as the Weed Inspector to enforce provincial noxious weed laws.
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Council held a review of strategic business plan work priorities. Communications officer, Julia Fielding, says the economic development strategy action plan has been completed and will be presented to council in the future. The communication plan for a flood preparedness program has launched and there are a few more minor details to be finished. Ms. Fielding said a town communication plan is ongoing but a draft plan has been written. They are looking at using a smartphone app to help communications. A new town dinosaur logo continues to be worked on in collaboration with the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Two options will be presented to the committee soon. CAO Darryl Drohomerski said potential sites for a toboggan hill will be brought to council in April. CAO Drohomerski said candidates for the economic development officer positions have been shortlisted and three candidates will be interviewed this week for the vacant director of infrastructure position.
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Council held discussions over the draft Capital Budget. CAO Drohomerski and Director of Corporate Services, Barb Miller, presented a list of potential projects for the capital budget. A copy of the draft budget was not provided to the public at the meeting, which includes more projects/costs than identified here. Council discussed building public washrooms for the downtown plaza, which would be self-contained units connected to water and sewer lines. The washrooms would be built in modified sea cans which could be moved to other locations. Director of Protective Services, Greg Peters, said the fire department is seeking an replacement for the 12 year old fire truck for the fire chief, for a budgeted $50,000. An additional pumper truck and ladder pumper is also being asked for by the Drumheller department, and a further $100,000 has been budgeted in 2019. The town’s prospective 5-year flood mitigation program is budgeted at $4,600,000 over the next three years and then $4,582,400 in 2022. Federal and provincial grant funding has been applied for by the town and awaits approval. A total of $220,000 is budgeted for beautification work over the next three years ($60,000, $100,000, and $60,000), to be taken from the transportation reserve. Council has identified potential work on the fountain near the World’s Largest Dinosaur to reduce costs and to fix an unknown water leak from the fountain, with $250,000 budgeted to be taken from the facility reserve in 2020. An assessment of the underground conditions of the fountain is likely to be done this year. Work had been identified to renovate the women’s washroom and part of the men’s room at the Aquaplex, which will be done this year, but an underlying issue is the high humidity of the pool, coupled with inadequate HVAC system, causes issues with paint and rust, so an additional solution to combat the high humidity is sought with the help of available grants. Total capital project amounts for 2019 are $4,900,000, $6,022,000 for 2020, and $4,600,000 in 2021.

Council Notes from the Regular Council meeting of Monday, January 21, 2019

 

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Council Notes
Drumheller Town Council
Regular Council Meeting
Monday, January 21, 2019

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Council held discussion over the 2019 utility budget. Director of Corporate Services Barb Miller said the council budget reflects the 5 per cent increase to water and wastewater utility budget. She said the budget does not cover the rate for the debenture payment, but covers amortization and operation costs. The water utility budget results in a deficit of $900 for 2019 including full amortization costs, and the sewer utility budget has a deficit of $262,600 including full amortization costs. The town is moving toward a cost-recovery model in future budgets to cover the debenture payment. The water administration budget is drafted to increase to $1,732,840 from $1,550,840 over 2018. The low lift pump station draft budgeted amount will increase from $16,245 in 2018 to $25,915. The raw water reservoir amount will decrease from $29,025 to $18,870 in 2019. The water purification and treatment amount is drafted to decrease slightly from $1,042,835 in 2018 to $1,030,235. The transmission and distribution totals are drafted to increase from $547,045 to $587,685. The sewage administration for Drumheller will increase from $803,440 to $827,900, and for East Coulee increase slightly frin $58,500 to $60,000. Sewage collection draft budgeting for Drumheller will decrease from $537,160 to $446,510. For East Coulee it will increase from $15,390 to $31,520. Sewage treatment budgets for Drumheller are drafted to increase from $556415 to $591,645, and for East Coulee, it will decrease from $96,760 to $80,825. Council unanimously moved to accept the budget as presented.
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Council deferred discussion over the capital budget for council at their next council meeting on February 4.
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Council included the quarterly report from Economic Development Officer Julia Fielding for information, as the original discussed was not livestreamed last week due to technical reasons.
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An item submitted by public works director Kevin Blanchette regarding reducing costs associated with the fountain near the World’s Largest Dinosaur for information, but council wished to postpone decisions until a public consultation process is completed.
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Councillor Jay Garbutt presented the Drumheller Housing Administration 2019 budget for approval which was approved unanimously.
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