Information from Drumheller Town Council Committee of the Whole Meeting Monday, May 15
Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and made some opening announcements.
National Public Works Week is May 21 to 27, this year’s theme is Connecting the World Through Public Works; Deputy Mayor Crystal Sereda encouraged residents to celebrate the quiet work of the Public Works department. Councillor Tom Zariski announced the annual strawberry tea fundraiser at the Sunshine Lodge on Friday, May 19, which helps support recreation activities at Sunshine and Hillview Lodge.
Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office project director Deighen Blakely presented council with a request to begin the expropriation for the partial acquisition of a parcel of land in East Coulee. Negotiations have been ongoing with the landowner since November 2022, and so far a purchase offer at Fair Market Value has been rejected; due to the timeline for construction of the East Coulee Phase 2 berm, which is scheduled to begin in spring 2024, it is recommended to begin the expropriation process for this property, as the process can take upwards of a year. Ms. Blakely noted the property owner can still get their own appraisal, and price per square foot would be determined based on land value.
Council unanimously approved the request to begin expropriation processes.
Economic Development manager Reg Johnston presented council with a request for direction regarding amendments to the Town’s Residential Incentive Program. He noted the population has remained relatively stable and, to encourage growth, the Town passed a Residential Incentive Program in July 2020. So far, no developers have taken advantage of the program, and it is recommended to make some amendments to make the program successful.
If the program were successful, it would encourage residential development, population growth, create jobs, and align with the Town’s recently developed housing strategy.
There are several areas in the current bylaw which changes are being recommended, including lifting the price cap on residential listings for construction; this is currently capped at $350,000 and may discourage some developers. The housing strategy outlined a forecasted need for between 190 to 220 homes by 2026, and Mr. Johnston noted by removing this cap it may encourage additional development.
Council directed Mr. Johnston to amend the Residential Incentive Program based on the recommendations outlined to better align with the housing strategy and bring the amended bylaw forward to a future council meeting for consideration..
Drumheller Fire Chief Derian Rosario and director of Protective Services Greg Peters presented council with a request for decision regarding the purchase of a new rescue unit. The unit would replace Unit 607, which has been in service for multiple years. A tender was posted in March and a total of four bids were received; however, upon review, three bids were disqualified based on criteria listed for the replacement unit.
The approved 2023 Capital Budget allocated a total of $490,000 for the purchase of this vehicle, up from $350,000 which was allocated in 2022. However, the bid received from Dependable Emergency Vehicles for the replacement of this unit, along with additional, requested options, totals $499,823, excluding GST.
It was recommended for council to allocate an additional $18,000 for the purchase of the optional equipment including a camera system and awning, along with an additional $10,000 for the cost overages on the unit itself and award the bid to Dependable Emergency Vehicles in the amount of $517,878, including GST.
Council passed a motion to allocate the additional $28,000 in funding, and passed a second motion to award the bid totalling $517,878.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on
www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.