Drumheller Town Council Meetings | DrumhellerMail - Page #3
06302022Thu
Last updateThu, 30 Jun 2022 12pm

Council Notes from the Regular Council Meeting Monday, April 4, 2022

TownofDrumhellerCrest

Council Overview
Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, April 4, 2022

Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting and Councillor Tom Zariski gave an update on the Drumheller Legion’s Jail and Bail on Friday, April 1 (see front page for more information).
***
Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) project director Deighen Blakely shared an overhead power line must be addressed prior to construction of the Downtown Dike; she noted the tender for this project is expected to be posted soon.
A quote for $353,471 was received from ATCO Electric to remove the overhead line and relocate services by redirecting the line underground; an additional Shaw utility line is also located in this area and work is expected to be completed in conjunction to move these services, though a quote has not yet been received.
This line, regardless of whether the upcoming Road Closure bylaw to close a portion of Riverside Drive is passed, is required to be moved to complete berm construction.
Council approved the motion as presented.
***
Director of Protective Services Greg Peters presented council with a request to purchase a new tanker truck for the Drumheller Fire Department. A tender was posted and only two bids were received. It was recommended the tender be awarded to Fort Garry Fire Trucks Ltd for $383,940.
This amount is some $33,940 above the approved Capital Budget amount.
Council approved the purchase of the new tanker truck as presented.
***
Economic Development manager Reg Johnston presented council with a request to award the tender for the development of the downtown Triangle Plaza. Two bids were received, and it was recommended the tender be awarded to Landform Inc. in the amount of $1,017,507.69 to construct the plaza this year.
Due to an additional $408,000 recently received in federal funding through the Canadian Community Revitalization Fund from PrairiesCan, a washroom will be built alongside the plaza; this was not included in the initial design plan.
Council approved the tender award as presented.
***
Community Planning and Social Planning manager April Harrison presented council with the Poverty Reduction review.
She explained some 12.5 per cent of children under five live in poverty, and a total of 314 households accessed the local food bank within the last year; 51 per cent of recipients were children under 18.
In 2021 the living wage dropped slightly over the previous year, from $23.77 per hour to $19.70 per hour; however, Ms. Harrison noted the average starting salary in Drumheller is about $16 per hour.
A needs assessment was conducted in 2017 to get a better understanding of what supports are needed in the community, and a Poverty Reduction coordinator position, supported through grant funding, was established in April 2021. This funding has now ended and, despite being one of council’s strategic priorities, whether to keep the position is being deliberated within the 2022 Operating Budget. Budget deliberations will be brought back at the next regular council meeting.

Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on
www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.


Council Notes from Regular Council Meeting Monday, March 21, 2022

TownofDrumhellerCrest

 

Council Overview
Information from Drumheller Town Council Regular Council Meeting
Monday, March 21, 2022

Mayor Heather Colberg opened the meeting.
***
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski presented council with the first reading of the Road Closure Bylaw 05.22 to close a portion of Riverside Drive East for upcoming flood mitigation work in the area. He explained all bylaws must pass three readings and, in order for further discussion to take place and to schedule a public hearing, council must pass the first reading.
Council passed the first reading and scheduled the public hearing for Tuesday, April 19; the public hearing is expected to be held in person in council chambers.
***
Director of Corporate Services Mauricio Reyes presented council with the 2022 Supplementary Assessment Bylaw 04.22. He explained this bylaw is a regular housekeeping bylaw to assess improvements added to properties after December 31 of the previous year.
Council passed first and second reading and, with no objections, then passed third and final reading.
***
CAO Drohomerski presented the Repeal Bylaw 02.22 to repeal the Prepayment of Taxes Bylaw 19.16. Corporate Services reviewed the Prepayment of Taxes program in 2019 and during the November 27, 2019 council meeting it was recommended Bylaw 19.16 be repealed. Council agreed through a motion, however, this was never done.
Council gave first and second reading and, with no objections, gave third and final reading.
***
CAO Drohomerski shared an update on the tree removal program. The program is moving ahead and trees marked by the Community Advisory Committee are being put aside to save for a community project. The town will also put aside trees to be used as firewood for community events such as the Festival of Lights. Other trees will be turned to mulch which will be free to residents; notice will be given once this mulch is ready and available to the public.
***
Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) project director Deighen Blakely presented council with an amendment to the Financial Audit completed by Ascend Financial for the period of January 1 to June 30, 2021.
She explained the audit report was adjusted from the original version presented to council on February 22. A property purchased in 2020, through an error, was not included in the original report; the total land expenditures were amended from $3,922,310 to $4,737,310 and overall expenditures from $11,201,193 to $12,016,193.
***
Mr. Reyes presented the 2022 Operating Budget of $9,273,404 to council. The draft 2022 Operating Budget was previously brought before council on Monday, March 7 to collect feedback and share recommended amendments to the draft.
Based on feedback, administration increased the investment revenue from a proposed $415,000 to $475,000 due to rising interest rates; the amortization amount was also increased from $1,608,032 to $1,609,960.
The town received a more accurate estimate of policing costs and the budget for this is being increased from $1,459,560 to $1,517,632; the policing cost was downloaded onto municipalities by the province in 2020.
Wages and salaries are higher than in 2021 as recreation facilities were not operating as usual throughout 2021; Mr. Reyes noted, had the facilities been able to operate as usual these expenses would have been around $7.3 million. The proposed 2022 salaries and benefits are $7.49 million due to recreation adjustments and the creation of new positions.
Council had several questions about the proposed budget and made additional recommendations and suggestions, including bringing down the proposed tax rate increase; administration was asked to make further amendments to the proposed budget and bring it back to council again for consideration at a later date.
***
Council adjourned to a closed session. The next regular council meeting is Monday, April 4.

Council Notes from Committee of the Whole Meeting Monday, March 14, 2022

TownofDrumhellerCrest

Council Overview
Information from Drumheller Town Council Committee of the Whole Meeting Monday, March 14, 2022

Deputy Mayor Tony Lacher opened the meeting and made several opening announcements.
He congratulated the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on its 10 year anniversary on Saturday, March 12. At the celebration, the Drumheller Elks branch was awarded for its 100 years of service in the Drumheller Valley.
The Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) is hosting the Riverside Drive Traffic Impact Assessment virtual information session on Wednesday, March 16 at 6 p.m.; an information session for Willow Estates is also scheduled on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m.
***
Drumheller’s primary investment management service provider, CIBC Hobson Chahal Advisory Group portfolio managers, James Hobson and Charet Chahal provided the Committee with information regarding the town’s investments and the impact of ongoing world events.
Hobson Chahal is one of the largest firms in customized investments, working with some 55 municipalities and other public organizations and charities.
Mr. Hobson shared the United States recently reported the highest inflation in the last 40 years; the Canadian inflation rate is projected at about four per cent in 2022. However, the longterm forecast for Alberta is good, with a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 4.3 per cent–the fastest projected growth compared to other provinces and the national average.
Alberta could have the strongest provincial economy for the next two years and Mr. Chahal explained how the firm is helping to maximize the town’s investment profits amid volatile markets.
***
Manager of Economic Development Reg Johnston presented the Committee with the Extended Tourism Strategy previously identified as a strategic priority by council.
Mr. Johnston, TravelDrumheller Executive Director Julia Fielding, and Director of Infrastructure Dave Brett looked at various ways to help tourism business in the off-season, identified as September through March.
A need to widen the tourism season has been identified to help businesses thrive through the slower spring and fall months; this is being done through creating a new events calendar and promoting winter events such as Festival of Lights to promote Drumheller as a winter destination as well.
Ms. Fielding shared the Rocky Mountains are the only busy tourism location in Canada during the winter months and Destination Canada is also looking to widen the Canadian tourism season.
***
Mr. Johnston also provided a briefing note on Drumheller’s Residential Incentive Program bylaw amendment. Council asked for more information prior to considering a third reading to amend the Residential Incentive Program bylaw during the February 22 regular council meeting.
Feedback was requested from developers and they noted, while they are aware of the program, it is “not top of mind” and there needs to be more communication.
Allowing secondary suites was favourably looked upon as it would allow for greater affordability. These developments are encouraged under the Municipal Development Plan (MDP). Despite initial concerns, Mr. Johnston noted the Town’s property assessor has proved secondary suites can be assessed separately, though it will require additional administrative work.
Drumheller’s program was compared to similar programs in other municipalities; many of the comparable municipalities did not offer similar programs. Edson and Innisfail offer similar programs, though there are some differences; Edson’s program does not list any price parameters within the program and deferred property taxes become payable once certain conditions are met; Innisfail’s program offers potential reimbursement of up to $15,00 for approved projects, and multi-dwelling developments may qualify under this program.
As it is a seller’s market, lowering listing prices could be perceived as providing an unfair advantage as there are no comparable new-built homes within the proposed price range and developers noted it is difficult to build new developments for under $300,000. Most current builds are in the range of $530,000.
The final amended draft of the Residential Incentive Program will be brought before council for consideration.
***
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski provided an update on the CN Rail lease. The Town has been talking with CN Rail since about 2018 to develop a lease for “Rails to Trails,” an opportunity to turn former CN right-of-way into trails for walking or cycling. There are several kilometres running throughout the town from Wayne to Midland and, if signed, would give the town the ability to develop trail infrastructure.
***
Mr. Brett provided an update on the Wayne road Bridge 11 community engagement. Design work is underway and being finalized. Permit approval has been received from federal and provincial governments for the proposed design, and they are currently working on some land issues. Community engagements with Wayne and Dalum residents will move forward once these issues have been resolved.
Mr. Brett and communications officer Erica Crocker will meet with a consultant to develop a full community engagement plan and communications; these will be brought before Drumheller and Wheatland County councils for review and comment within the coming few weeks.
***
Ms. Crocker gave a communications update on the public participation survey. Data from a survey conducted in 2017 may be considered outdated, and it is recommended a new survey be conducted to determine community social needs, especially following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questions for the new survey are drafted and will be brought to Council for review later this month.
***
The meeting adjourned to closed session.

Complete minutes from council meetings can be found on

www.drumheller.ca once they have been adopted.


The Drumheller Mail encourages commenting on our stories but due to our harassment policy we must remove any comments that are offensive, or don’t meet the guidelines of our commenting policy.