Information from Drumheller Town Council Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2022
Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and made some opening remarks.
Mayor Colberg welcomed Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk back to council after a medical leave of absence.
She also reminded the public of two upcoming community engagements at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on Thursday, November 17 regarding Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) projects, and Tuesday, November 22 for a multi-project open house.
Rails to Trails task force chair Jason Blanke and secretary Lana Philips presented the committee with an update on the taskforce. The task force was established earlier this year by council and community members, focused on fundraising to ensure funds are available to build a useable path as quickly as possible.
To keep in line with the coal and rail history of the Drumheller Valley, the task force is looking to establish stations, with the Main Station positioned on the edge of downtown Drumheller along with a donor wall, and stops between stations.
Currently, the task force has two main fundraising pieces-the Rails to Trails Community Christmas Party and silent auction on Friday, December 2, and sponsorships and donations from community members and organizations; more information regarding sponsorship opportunities will be available beginning on Friday, November 18.
Director of Corporate and Community Services Mauricio Reyes presented the quarterly financial report, ending September 30.
The Town has collected about 87 per cent of 2022 taxes, totalling $21,798,903; this is consistent with previous years, and it is anticipated the remainder will be collected by the end of 2022. Municipal expenses are approximately 72 per cent of the approved budget of $21,341,884 and there is an anticipated positive variance of approximately $150,000 due to staffing vacancies in the first half of the year.
The Town has applied for some $1.3 million in capital and operating grants and have been successful in about 30 per cent of these, totalling $375,351, with some still pending approval.
Recreation, Arts and Culture manager Darren Goldthorpe and RC Strategies project manager Steven Siawuta presented a cost recovery update on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which was previously requested by council. RC Strategies were contracted by the Town to undertake development of the Master Plan.
Mr. Siawuta explained the cost recovery was compiled based on comparable communities with similar recreation facilities.
While expenditures are consistent with comparable municipalities, revenues are generally lower per capita at the three primary facilities reviewed-BCF, Drumheller Aquaplex, and Drumheller Memorial Arena. Some preliminary recommendations have come out of this report, including setting cost recovery targets based on benefits the municipality is trying to achieve and exploring further revenue generation factors through the Master Plan.
Mr. Goldthorpe and Community Events coordinator Alicia Smith presented a review of the role and events held in 2022.
The Town held several events over 2022 including Oktoberfest, Summer @ the Plaza, and an inaugural Alberta Culture Day celebration in September; Festival of Trees and Festival of Lights are upcoming in November.
There are several events tentatively scheduled in 2023, including another tree carving event similar to the one held in September as part of the Alberta Culture Day celebrations.
Community Development and Social Planning manager April Harrison presented an overview of the Community Social Needs Assessment, which will also be shared during the multi-project open house on November 22.
The assessment is conducted every five years and ensures Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) can target funding and resources appropriately. The first phase of the assessment will begin in November with community and agency surveys, three community workshops, and a workshop for older adults and youth held at the Sunshine Lodge and Greentree School respectively.
Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on
www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.