Drumheller Town Council Meetings | DrumhellerMail - Page #8
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Council Notes from the Committee of the Whole Meeting of Monday, January 14, 2019

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Council Notes

Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, January 14, 2019

 

Council and administration presented their quarterly reports on December 31.
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CAO Darryl Drohomerski presented his report for both the CAO office and infrastructure services. Drumheller was approved to move forward on the final phase of flood mitigation. The former ski hill will not be available for a toboggan hill and other options will be researched. The strategic business plan was approved by council and work priorities will be provided to council. A new bylaw regarding off-site levies was recommended. A draft bylaw of the tourism corridor bylaw has been reviewed by stakeholders and will be presented to council in February. Hiring of an infrastructure services director and economic development manager will be completed by the end of January and the development officer position has been filled and will start January 21.
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Director of Corporate Services Barb Miller presented her report. Property tax notices were issued totalling over $11 million. This is made up of about $8.7 million requisitioned by the town, $2.7 million through the Alberta School Foundation Fund, and over $500,000 requisitioned by the senior foundation. So far 96 per cent of taxes have been collected. Tax arrears public auction date is set for January 25.
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Director of Protective Services Greg Peters presented his report. Work continues on the Tourism Corridor and Community Standards Bylaw, both of which will be presented again to council in January and February respectively. Work on a fenced dog park in Newcastle will commence in the spring. A municipal emergency plan is being worked on this year.
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Arts, Culture, and Recreation manager Darren Goldthorpe presented his report, which included statistics and usage of the Badlands Community Facility and Aquaplex. Work is being done to find a location for a toboggan hill. Work is being done on mapping a local heritage walking tour. Alberta Culture Days in September has been given up by previous committee members and the committee is looking to plan and organize for 2019 but they require funding.
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Family and Community Supports Services coordinator April Harrison presented her report. A community counselling program has been utilized. A poverty reduction strategy was being worked on and it has recommended to join a provincial network to reduce costs. Out of school youth programming is being investigated and grants have been submitted. A welcoming newcomers program is being developed. Funding for an events coordinator is being requested in the operating budget.
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Mayor and council entered their quarterly reports for information.
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Council and administration discussed cost savings efforts designed to meet a 5 per cent operating budget cut. Arts, Culture, and Recreation manager Darren Goldthorpe brought forward a number of suggestions regarding low impact service cuts for his department. This included modifying the hours of the outdoor pool and the Badlands Community Facility. Public Works operations manager Kevin Blanchett suggested changes to the fountain at Rotary Park that may realize further savings.
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Director of Corporate Services Barb Miller sought direction from Council on recommendations from the remuneration task force. Council gave direction to bring forward a number of recommendations, contingent on this year’s budget.


Council Notes from the Regular Council Meeting of Monday, January 7, 2019

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Council Notes

Drumheller Town Council
Regular Council Meeting
Monday, January 7, 2019

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Council approved a request for decision for the approval of a payment to Knibb Developments in the amount of $50,810 for the creation and installation of the artwork “Ironosaurus Wreck” located at the Badlands Community Facility. Once approved a cheque will be issued to Knibb Developments, where they will then issue a donation cheque back to the town for the same amount and be treated as a donation, ultimately not costing the town any money.
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Council heard a review of strategic business plan work. Economic Development Officer Julia Fielding said work is being done on a flood communication plan, which she said will be communicated to the public this year. Administration is working to communicate necessary flood preparedness information to residents prior to seasonal flooding in the spring. Ms. Fielding updated on the downtown development strategy, saying work is continuing on creating a unified colour palette, blade signs, and storefront improvement projects council gave direction for at a previous meeting. Council heard an update regarding the demolition of the former Elk’s Club building and Mr. Drohomerski said they are working with Telus, ATCO, and Shaw regarding the demolition as there is a fibre optic wire buried nearby. It is expected work will be completed by the end of March. Mr Drohomerski updated council on the dyke design work which will be completed in spring, with tenders planned to be advertised in March.
Council heard update on the downtown plaza. The town is looking at potentially turning the Elk’s building site into a place for the plaza this coming summer. Discussions will come with the capital budget discussions coming at the end of this month. Director of Corporate Services Barb Miller said they have conducted interviews regarding a municipal accountant for the Infrastructure Master Plan but are still looking for a candidate. Council heard discussion from the park and pay program at tourist sites from Director of Protective Services Greg Peters. Mayor Heather Colberg said the town provides the parking at the hoodoos as the province owns the hoodoos. She said the town is responsible for maintaining parking there. She clarified it was simply discussion for council and said anyone with concerns can reach out to council. In a request for a decision regarding a pay and park system, Mr. Peters presented research he conducted on two options, one being an electronic Park Plus system and the other an honour box system. See story on page 1 for more details. Councillor Jay Garbutt said the request was a way for the town to monetize assets to offset associated costs of tourism, and both he and Councillor Tony Lacher said the Park Plus option was a better choice to recover costs of the system. Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk said past councils have looked into park and pay systems and she would like to see a decision made.
Councillor Fred Makowecki said the cost of paving the parking lots and adding restrooms costs a significant amount of money, and that residents should not be paying associated tourism costs. A motion was made for the town to spend a maximum of $5,000 on an honour box at the Hoodoo location site. Mr. Peters expressed concern over vandalism and theft from the honour box at that location, and recommended having a trial at the World’s Largest Dinosaur. Mr. Drohomerski recommended council defeat the motion so administration had a few more weeks to come to a solution, suggesting that paying someone to collect money at the Hoodoos might be more viable and safer. Councillor Garbutt expressed support for a honour box at the WLD. Councillor Zariski inquired about Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk’s idea of using a ‘text-to-donate’ option. All councillors were opposed to the motion and it was defeated. More information will be brought back by Mr. Peters on February 11.
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Council held round-table discussions. Councillor Makowecki asked for an update on the hiring of an economic development officer and director of infrastructure. Mr. Drohomerski said they’ve conducted interviews for the director of infrastructure position, with hopes to complete all interviews by the end of January. An economic development officer has been hired and will be announced shortly.
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Council moved in to a private session to discuss staff long service and recognition policy.

Council Notes from the Committee of the Whole Meeting of Monday, December 17, 2018

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Council Notes

Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, December 17, 2018

Council held a special council meeting prior to the regular committee of the whole meeting.
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Council heard an update from Denise Lines of the Council Remuneration Wage Review task force regarding compensation provided to council members. They recommended a number of changes to wording in the policy, as well as recommended a 5 per cent increase in remuneration to both council members and the mayor, and a 1 per cent increase in the honorarium for 2020 and 2021. It was noted a recent federal bill will remove the “one third” tax exemption previously enjoyed by elected officials, in effect on January 1. The task force recommends to increase the daily per diem rate $10, as well as increase the allowed per diem days from 10 to 12 for the mayor and 5 to 7 days for council. An annual cell phone allowance as well as a portion of medical benefits were recommended as well. The task force suggested they should review the policy every two years, with Councillor Jay Garbutt recommending that in the future the review be completed as close to election as possible. A request for direction from corporate services director Barb Miller will be brought to council in January.
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Council passed second and third readings of the Utility Rate Bylaw. A chart comparing rates to similar sized communities was provided and showed Drumheller is actually in the bottom third of comparable communities.
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Council heard an update from deputy CAO Miller regarding proposed service fee changes, which largely consist of nominal increases to fees. The full document is available on www.dinosaurvalley.com.
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Council approved a request for decision to authorize expenses in 2019 of expenditures not included in the budget and occurring before the budget is passed.
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The regular committee of the whole meeting was called to order.
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Council heard delegation from Kevin Blanchett of the town’s public works department. Mr. Blanchett suggested making modification to the annual spring clean up plan, possibly to change it to happening every two years. He also suggested potentially moving the clean up to the fall to better accommodate other public works projects. Councillor
Garbutt voiced concern that it is an important service for residents. Mayor Heather Colberg suggested the clean up may actually create a build up of waste as residents wait for each year for spring clean up. Mr. Blanchett made recommendations to reduce costs for the municipal airport after being asked to look at a 5 per cent budget reduction, and made a series of recommendations regarding airport lighting on the runway as their system is currently down. Councillor Fred Makowecki said he has issues with numerous aspects of the airport and said perhaps council should look at changing how the airport is operated. Councillor Garbutt agreed and said discussion of the town divesting from the airport has been a topic of discussion.
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Council heard a delegation from April Harrison and Laura Dougan of Family and Community Support Services. Ms. Harrison said there have been some staffing changes over the last year, and FCSS has organized a number of events such as the Picnic in the Park, the seniors dinner, and other community services. FCSS is applying for a number of grants this year. Council heard results from a recent poverty study in the Drumheller community. She said we need more affordable housing and rental units in Drumheller, now and in the future. She said there is a significant need in Drumheller for a temporary shelter and individuals must travel to nearby urban centres if needed. Ms. Harrison identified a number of areas of cost reduction to the FCSS
budget.


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