Drumheller Town Council
Regular Council Meeting
Monday, May 1, 2017
Councillor Tara McMillan was sworn in as Deputy Mayor for May and June of this year by Mayor Terry Yemen.
Delegations included presentations from the Drumheller District Senior Foundation (DDSF) and the local Police Committee.
DDSF CAO Jennifer Krystoff and Board member Tom Zariski presented the housing needs assessment with notable results.
The assessment took Operations, Maintenance, Debt Repayment, and other delegations into account to make up the overall 2017 budget. They surveyed several people within the community. There appears to be a higher and steeper bell curve when looking at the gap between low and high income living.
With the housing market filled with empty homes, rental units are now used for tourist accommodations.
The DDSF is facing many challenges like adequacy, suitability, vacancies and aging facilities with a new vision and goal set in mind to help benefit the residents in Sunshine Lodge and Hillview Manor as well as Continuing Care.
They plan to look at any way to create more efficiency in order to cut costs which was similar to last year. With the minimum wage increase soon to rise to $15 an hour, the current union wages range from $15.83/hour to $20.75/hour and are expected to feel pressure to increase shortly afterwards.
The provincial government no longer offers grants as they turn to co-ownership and urged the DDSF to explore more energy efficient operations. They will have new lighting retrofitted but other than that, no explanation or support from the government on the issue.
Residents are now bypassing the lodge to go straight into continuing care and it takes time to get residents into the proper housing situation.
CAO Krystoff highlighted the small room sizes and half bath situation in the number four and five wing of the Sunshine Lodge, after collecting comments from the survey. She believes the vacancies are linked to the insufficient room sizes. They were built in the 1960’s.
Overall the survey set the bar and allocated responsibilities for the DDSF to work towards in the interest of its tenants.
As for the attending members of the Police Committee consisting of Chairman Fred Makowecki, Board Member Tom Zariski, and Director of Protective Services Greg Peters; Makowecki presented the 2016 Policing Survey results as well as the new Policy Manual. More than 500 people took part in the survey. He noted a trend of an increase in concerns in property related crime. Makowecki noted that despite the age range the answers were extremely similar.
The community is very unique in the sense they have a say in what the police do.
Makowecki believes everyone should know their neighbour so you know what is considered normal and what isn’t. It can help the police get to the bottom of a situation in a quick time frame.
Councillor Tara McMillan mentioned the Annual Meeting for the Valley Bus Society will be on Thursday, May 4, 2017 with ‘lots of changes’ like a new office manager.