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Council Notes from the Regular Council Meeting of Monday, January 9, 2017


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Council Notes

Regular Council Meeting of Monday, January 9, 2017

To start off Drumheller’s January 9 regular council meeting Mayor Yemen said thank you to all the volunteers over Christmas who took time out of their Christmas holidays to give back to the community.

CAO Ray Romanetz read the request for decision regarding the two vacancies on the Public Library Board. The Public Library Board proposed that council decide on the two applications received by Ms. Denise Lines and Dr. Sarwat Rehan. Councillor Pat Kolafa made a motion that both be appointed for three year terms. Motion passed unanimously.
CAO Romanetz also read a request proposed by Palliser Regional Municipal Services that council approve the Town of Drumheller to participate in an application regarding grants for resources to create intermunicipal development plans.

Under the modernized municipal government act, two or more municipalities with common boundaries will now be required to prepare Intermunicipal Development Plans. Palliser Regional Municipal Services is submitting an application to Alberta Community Partnership Grant Program for resources to create this plan.

M.D. Of Acadia No. 34 is the managing partner for the application who wishes to have Drumheller join them. If awarded, the grant would be for up to $200,000. Motion was carried for council to approve joining the application for the grant.
Barb Miller, Director of Corporate Services gave an update on tax penalty communication. The goal is to educate the public on the tax penalty for late payments on property taxes and how to better avoid this. Ms. Miller said that through the last few years there has been problems when people paid through online banking or through the bank because they did not realize there would be a delay in processing the payment to the town. Whereas paying directly at town hall there is no delay. Council discussed how to help communicate this with the community.
Council then turned to in camera matters.

Council Notes from the Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

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Council Notes
Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

The Town of Drumheller held a special Council Meeting, December 19 to address the issue of raising the Utility Rate pertaining to water and wastewater fees. After an amendment was made at the December 12 meeting to decrease the raise of 5 per cent to 2 percent for water and 3 percent to 1.5 percent for wastewater Council agreed to revisit this matter.

Councillor Jay Garbutt addressed Council stating that he did not want to see rates increase but after reviewing this Councillor Garbutt made a motion to reinstate the original proposal to increase water by 5 percent and wastewater by 2 percent.

Councillor Garbutt said, “I am opposed to this motion and prefer to see the original motion reinstated.”

Councillor Sharel Shoff said she felt they should try to keep the fees the same for another year and feels they should help the people in the community in any way they can.

According to Director of Corporate Services, Barb Miller, if rates go up by 3 percent versus 5 percent the timeline to cost recovery would be 2022 instead of 2020.

Councillor Pat Kolafa said, “I think we are working against ourselves by doing that.”

Motion to decrease fees was defeated. The amendment to have fees increased by 5 percent and 2 percent was reinstated and the motion carried by a vote of 4 to 3. First, second, third readings to reinstate the increase were completed and the motion was passed to keep the previous increase of 5 percent to water and 2 percent to wastewater.


Council then reviewed the Service Fee Schedule for 2017.

Administration fees will not be facing an increase.
According to Director of Infrastructure Services, Darryl Drohomerski, Airport rates will be going up by $50. Mr. Drohomerski said that in comparison to numerous airport fees Drumheller’s fees are very low and there hasn’t been any raise to these rates in many years.
According to Mayor Terry Yemen, all fees regarding animal licences are staying the same.

Director of Community Services, Paul Salvatore, said Community Services are still focusing on cost recovery. With this focus, fees for the Aquaplex, Arena, Ball Diamonds, and BCF will be facing a 2 percent increase. These new rates won’t be implemented until July 2017. Numerous Council members highlighted the Fee Assessment Program, available for those in lower income brackets. This allows for up to fifty percent discount on most memberships for those who qualify. When challenged Mr. Salvatore acknowledged that Drumheller is on the higher end for fees regarding the Aquaplex but due to still being in cost recovery mode, fees will continue to be higher. The Town also offers many opportunities for families to take advantage of the facilities available in town. Some of these are toonie swims and family fun days at the BCF.

Increases to bulk utility rates will increase like planned. This will affect places like campgrounds with sewer dropping and bulk water usage.

The Service Fee Schedule showed that business licences will stay the same.

Fees regarding the Cemetery will increase by the proposed 2 percent.

Paul Salvatore, Director of Community Services said The Summer Fun, Flex Days, Before and After School Care programs and the BCF birthday party packages are all staying the same for the time being. Since these programs did not meet the revenues in 2016 Community Services will be reassessing the after school fees for changes in the fees for the 2017/2018 year.

Safety fees and development permit fees will be increased by 2 percent. Mayor Yemen stressed the increase of safety’s codes is due to the new contractor fees the town is facing. There has been no increase to these fees since 2012.

Mayor Yemen closed the meeting by acknowledging the hard work of administration to keep increases to a bare minimum.

Council Notes Regular Council Meeting Monday, December 12, 2016

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Council Notes

Regular Council Meeting Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday, December 12 Town Council Meeting started off by Councillor, Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk sworn in as Deputy Mayor for the months of January and February, 2017.
Mayor Terry Yemen stated that due to the Christmas holidays there would be no Council meeting for December 26, 2016.
Mayor Yemen read a letter received which asked if there was anyone in the community that would be considered a nominee for the Alberta Order of Excellence Award. Mayor Yemen explained that anyone can nominate a person who is considered to be someone who stands out within the Drumheller area for giving back to the community, by going to the Lieutenant Governor’s webpage.
Council proceeded to complete the first reading of the bylaw to establish utility rates. Council reviewed average monthly charges for each of the 4 groups, based on meter sizes. When reviewing these numbers Council found a deficit in group 2 and group 3. Council discussed ways to compensate for this deficit. Since the province is recommending all municipalities make up for the shortfalls, council discussed increasing the rate and meter charge for water and wastewater by 5 percent. Concerns about the economic position most of Alberta is in and the upcoming carbon tax were brought forward from some of the council members. The motion to increase rates by 5 percent was defeated through a tie vote from Council. Councillor Sharel Shoff made a motion to raise the rate of water by 3 percent and waste water by 1.5 percent. A motion was passed to look into second and third readings for the amendment to this bylaw.
Council completed the second and third readings of the Bylaw for borrowing monies to cover town operating expenses.
Motion carried.
Authorization and verification for 2017 expenditures that was not included in the budget was then completed for Council to approve CAO or his delegate to pay all these expenditures.
The first reading of the bylaw amendment for a prepayment incentive of property taxes was held. This incentive currently includes a discount of 3.5 percent for those paid before the end of January and 3 percent discount for those paid by the end of February. The amendment is to reduce these discounts to 1.25 percent if paid before the end of January and 1 percent if paid by the end of February. All three readings were passed.
Council switched to in camera matters.

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