Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, December 5, 2022
Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and thanked the some 415 people who attended the Rails to Trails fundraiser dinner and silent auction at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on Friday, December 2 (see story Page 3).
Director of Protective Services Greg Peters introduced Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Rob Harms to council and welcomed him to the community.
S/Sgt Harms presented council with the quarterly update from July to September 2022.
He explained substance abuse was outlined as a community priorities, and S/Sgt Harms noted drug abuse and illicit drugs are often closely related to many other crimes, such as person based crimes like assaults, and property crimes. He noted the General Investigative Section (GIS) unit has allowed the detachment to execute multiple warrants over the last few months resulting in known offenders being arrested and several illicit substances being taken off the streets.
Drumheller RCMP has begun conducting checkstops and has already had success in suspending some impaired drivers (see story Page 10).
Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) project engineer Spencer Roberton presented council with a request to award the tender for the supply, delivery, and installation of tree and shrub plantings at the four active berm projects at Midland, Newcastle, North Drumheller Grove Plaza, and Willow Estates. Healthy trees removed for berm construction will be replaced at a ratio of five trees or shrubs for each tree removed and will be planted in the same relative area.
A total of three bids were received, and council awarded the contract to Wilco Contractors Southwest Inc. for the amount of $1,287,163 excluding GST; Wilco are the current construction contractor for three of the four berm sites.
Procurement is anticipated early 2023, with installation between spring and summer 2023.
Director of Corporate and Community Services Mauricio Reyes presented council with a request for decision for the 2023 to 2027 Utility Rate model (see story Page 2).
Mr. Reyes presented council with the 2023 Utility Operating Budget and three-year Utility Operating Financial Plan.
Water revenues are projected to rise by an approximate 7.4 per cent, which is partially related to the increase of water fees, along with anticipated higher volumes in 2023. Based on the approved three per cent water utility rate increase, water utility rates are anticipated to increase from $2.17 per cubic metre to $2.26 per cubic metre in 2023.
Drumheller’s utility rate is slightly below the average of $63.17 for an average household based on other comparable municipalities.
Wastewater revenues are expected to increase by approximately 18 per cent due to volume adjustments and the approved six per cent fee increase in 2023. This would see an increase from $2.28 per cubic metre to $2.42 per cubic metre in 2023; wastewater is based on 80 per cent of water volume for all customers who receive wastewater services.
Mr. Reyes presented council with a request for direction for the 2023 Operating Budget and proposed four-year financial plan.
He explained, if the budget is adopted as presented, there is a recommended increase of 6.2 per cent to the municipal tax revenue to meet municipal requirements in 2023, and a 2.5 per cent increase in user fees due to increased costs.
There is a substantial increase to the RCMP contract in 2023, and an increase in personnel costs due to increased staffing and new positions added in 2022 which are being budgeted for a full year rather than a partial year.
The final draft budget will be brought forward to the next council meeting for consideration.
Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett brought forward a request to re-award the tender for a 4-wheel drive backhoe loader. Council previously awarded the tender to Brandt Tractor Ltd in the amount of $285,363 excluding GST at the October 24 council meeting; however, upon receiving the Letter of Award, the Town was informed the unit was no longer available for purchase.
Units from the second and third options were also not available upon further follow up, and it was determined the award should be given to Brandt Tractor Ltd. for their second option in the amount of $336,675 excluding GST, an increase of $56,375 over the original award; however, a total of $345,000 was allocated within the 2022 Capital budget for this purchase and the new award will still result in under budget savings of $8,325 and sale of the unit being replaced will help offset some of the difference.
A public hearing was held to discuss proposed amendments to the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB). These documents have been in effect since 2021, but require some amendments due to changes to the scope of the flood mitigation project and to make the documents more clear.
There was one written submission which was read into record and four speakers registered to speak on the proposed changes. Feedback from the public hearing will be used to refine the draft bylaws prior to being brought back for second reading consideration in early 2023.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.