Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, December 6, 2021
Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and shared council has received emails regarding McMullen Island and Midland Provincial Park; council and administration are trying to work with the province about these facilities.
Mayor Colberg announced council received a letter from Municipal Affairs regarding the citizen’s flood mitigation petition from earlier this year. Municipal Affairs will not pursue an investigation; however, it has cost the municipality an estimated $10,000 in time and resources during this process (see story, Page 2).
Chief Financial Officer Mauricio Reyes presented the 2022 Utility Operating Budget and 3-Year Utility Operating Financial Plan to council.
Councillor Pat Kolafa moved for council to adopt the 2022 Utility Operating Budget and 3-Year Operating Financial Plan as presented. Carried.
CAO Darryl Drohomerski presented council with first reading of the 2022 Utility Rate Bylaw to increase the water and wastewater rates by five and two per cent respectively based on the proposals from the 2022 Utility Operating Budget and 3-Year Operating Financial Plan.
Average users can expect to see water rate increase by approximately 10 cents-from $2.07 to $2.17-per cubic metre, and an estimated 81 cents for monthly meter charges from $16.25 to $17.06 per month. Wastewater rates will increase by approximately five cents per cubic meter-from $2.23 to $2.28; meter charges will also increase with an average user seeing an increase from $13.88 to $14.16 per month.
Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk moved first reading. Carried.
Mr. Reyes presented the proposed 2022 Service Fee Schedule for all departments. One of the largest proposed increases is applying a 15 per cent increase on non-resident cemetery fees, such as plot fees; all other cemetery fees are proposed at a three per cent increase. Recreational fees, with the exception of memberships, were also proposed to be increased by three per cent.
The schedule will be brought back to the next council meeting for consideration.
The Town has applied for a grant from the Alberta Municipal Water Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) to upgrade the existing Penitentiary Booster station which services the Drumheller Institution and Churchill Co-op water system. The station was built in 1963 and does not have direct communication with the water treatment plant. Due to its age and condition, the capacity is being stressed.
The total project cost is estimated at $1,141,700 and the maximum municipal portion is approximately $713,220. It is recommended this portion be allocated in the 2022 Capital Budget for the Town’s cost share to upgrade the booster station.
Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk moved to reserve the municipal portion in the 2022 Capital Budget. Carried.
Manager of Recreation, Arts, and Culture Darren Goldthorpe presented council with a proposed Recreation Membership Model - Continuous Monthly Pass for the Aquaplex, Arena, and Badlands Community Facility (BCF) to bring membership fees more in line with other facilities while allowing more flexibility for stopping and resuming memberships (see story Page 3).
Under the new model, a continuous multi-facility family monthly membership would be reduced to $110 per month from $177 while a single-facility family monthly membership would drop to $100, down from $173.25.
Mr. Goldthorpe noted the financial impact of this new model is difficult to determine as there are too many variables. The combined membership budget revenue for the Aquaplex and BCF is estimated to be $153,050 and 213 multi-facility memberships or 232 single-facility memberships would be required.
Councillor Tony Lacher moved for council to approve the new monthly pass model and adjust membership fees effective as of January 1, 2022. Carried.
Resiliency and Flood Mitigation project manager Deighen Blakely provided an update on the flood mitigation program. Project specific open houses were held on November 18 and December 1 for Midland and Newcastle, and the Dike D engagement is scheduled for Thursday, December 9. The department has applied for Federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation funding for five additional dikes on Monday, November 15 and meetings have been ongoing with federal and provincial teams, including Alberta Environment and Parks, Transport Canada, and Navigable Waters.
Submissions for the 2022 communications proposal closed November 29 and submissions are under review.
One-on-one meetings with impacted landowners are currently underway and land agreements are being assembled for partial acquisitions.
Councillor Lacher moved to adjourn to closed session.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.