Mayor Terry Yemen opened the meeting by addressing the Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) graduation ceremony. He felt privileged to attend and they were an ‘awesome graduating crew’.
He was astounded by the highest grade average with four valedictorians.
One young lady, Jessica Francis was awarded the same $100,000 scholarship that last year’s graduate Sam Brown received. Also of note was Dan Hird and his retirement after 32 years of teaching in the Valley.
Council made a motion after review of Mill Rate Bylaw 03.17. This Bylaw’s purpose is to set the tax rates for the current year.
The operating budget effectively reflected a 0 per cent increase. The 2017 Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) requisition for Drumheller decrease slightly with a 0.11 per cent difference.
The 2017 Drumheller and District Seniors Foundation (DDSF) requisition increased by 4.12 per cent over the 2016 year.
Based on the 2017 requisitions; on average; a residential assessment of $200,000 in 2016, will see an increase of $8.03 with $1.85 to ASFF and $6.18 to DDSF on their 2017 tax bill.
A residential assessment of $300,000 in 2016 will see an increase of $12.05 with $2.78 to ASFF and $9.27 to DDSF on their yearly tax bill.
A commercial assessment of $500,000 in 2016 will see an increase of $85.50 with $70.05 going to ASFF and $15.45 going to DDSF.
The Road Improvement Program Tender Award was announced in council after tenders for the program closed on May 10. A total of eight tenders were received.
ConSite Construction Ltd. put in a bid for $1,267,975.50 which happened to be the lowest in price.
CAO Ray Romanetz mentioned the company’s good reputation, favourable pricing and previous work experience with the town over 25 years ago.
The Town hope to work with Alberta Transportation on projects to make smoother flow of traffic.
No asphalt is expected to be put in for the new south turnout so the Town is currently working with Alberta Transportation to figure that out.
Romanetz highlighted the main areas of roadway construction including Hunts crescent. The redo will be built correctly but at an expensive price tag as it will take over 3 years to get done. Soil circumstances including shifting will need to be dealt with so they plan to build drains underneath to mitigate future problems in that area.
Councillor Tom Zariski brought to attention the North Dinosaur Trail. He felt that RV users and larger vehicles were getting jostled too much and people are starting to complain about its wear.
Romanetz agreed and is in the process of talking to Alberta Transportation about that section as well.
The estimate included back alley paving for a development at the former St. Anthony’s School. The developers will be looking at the estimate, which could be funded through a local improvement bylaw.
The total summer project will come in at an estimated $1,440, 550.50 after a pre-tender estimate of $1,531,030.00.
Julia Fielding and Paul Salvatore explained key areas of focus in their Economic Development Task Force Recommendations of the new budget amendments.
CTV Calgary plans to come in June so Fielding and Salvatore are working on that.
As mentioned in previous meetings, theming was a large part of the discussion. While working with infrastructure, they plan to have a Dinowalk where visitors can use their phones to discover the new dinosaur medallions attached to the wayfinding signs specifically in Downtown. They will be linked to information on their historical background, backed by the Royal Tyrrell Museum. This is believed to help reinforce branding of the “Dinosaur Capital of the World.”
There are currently 13 total signs to be installed this year with five more to come. Each medallion will be located half-way on the pole with one for both sides.
The idea is to have a map where each visitor is to check off which dinos they see and can be traced back to the unique geography of Drumheller.
A tentative website called Dinowalk.ca has been put in place, all that is needed is content and design work.
They plan to have the public vote online for which dinosaurs they would like to see.
“I don’t know if you can tell but I’m pretty excited,” said Salvatore.
All the money used will be pooled back into the community as a local designer has been hired to make the dinosaur art as well as material sourced locally. Each medallion is make durable and can be easily replaced if necessary.
He further asked council about the possibility of street names like Centrasaurus for centre street, triceratops for third street to create a more authentic Drumheller with dimension. They do not plan on removing existing street names.
They find it will be a great way to work with community and hope to get recognition worldwide.
Money involved is linked with the Economic Development Budget and plans to package their website to the market and region and have a professional look. Simulation photos of what it looks like to live here are an option as well as profiles from locals to use emotion to drive business.
Councillor Tom Zariski noted that people may be tired of revitalizing downtown businesses and want more focus on the entire community. He also wanted to know what the downtown businesses are willing to offer as well.
Councillor Jay Garbutt felt the presentation missed the mark for areas that are key and wished to have more time to have a thorough review with possible polling from the Town website to see what the community will support.
Ray Romanetz gave an overview of the Quarterly Report from January to March of this year.
The flood mitigation progress report where Mayor Terry Yemen and Romanetz met with the Minister. They were quite surprised to find that federal program the town applied for did not fit the criteria. So far, 6.4 million approved but 100% funding is not happening. The Town may have to finance their portion, as well as ongoing major maintenance is in the hands of the Town. The update on this decision will be back within two weeks.
Romanetz also mentioned the Canada 150 and Downtown street and beautification projects like planters and coloured concrete.
He also explained briefly about the Carbon Tax and its impact it has on operations. A letter has been sent to Premier Rachel Notley.
As another lobbying dealing with the sewer odor in Newcastle, originating from the Royal Tyrrell Museum. A lift station for waste is needed but is now backed by the Minister. A meeting for June 6, is set in place to ‘get it nailed down’.
A number of initiatives including WHMIS and equipment operator safety training has been implemented for all staff.
The outdoor pool opened Monday as contractors are working on the indoor pool. Every second week, there is a meeting to ensure time lines are being met by all parties.
Alberta Transportation is going to do a study to see if traffic lights at a certain intersection on the south side is necessary as the provincial branch is packaging up the recommendation.
There is a plan to change lights to LED in the local arena and possibly the BCF.
Salvatore gave his quarterly review for Community Services. He mentioned there will be a Picnic in the park within the vicinity of BCF as part of the Canada 150. On Sunday, May 28, the Dinosaur Trail Country Club has partnered with Canada 150 for a Community Golf Day. There will be a BBQ and Cake Cutting at 3pm. It will only be $5 for 9 holes throughout the day.
He found that the tourist website was over performing so they are gradually moving over to Travel Drumheller where the website can bridge to social media.
Good growth was indicated due to the device friendly nature of it. The website has over 45,000 pages of anything Drumheller, which ‘blow’s the museum out of the water.’
Protective Services quarterly review was explained by Greg Peters, Director of Protective Services. He says that Bylaw work remains steady and a considerable amount of animal work through the winter including animal abuse, has been high.
They have been working well with the Humane Society and the Valley Vet Clinic. They have also been picking up diseased animals and trying to find their owners.
They are working well with RCMP, Enforcing the Community Standards Act with messy properties but said that like anything else ‘it doesn’t happen overnight.’
The disaster recovery application is still awaiting approval. Peters plans to update the flood victims this week to know where they stand but they do expect that it will be approved but may take weeks to get it.
Peters and a co-worker plan on attending a ‘weed school’ in June for one day in Kneehill County.
He explained that business is as usual and there is more than enough to do.