Drumheller Town Council Meetings | DrumhellerMail - Page #4
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Council Notes from the Committee of the Whole Meeting of Monday, December 17, 2018

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Council Notes

Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, December 17, 2018

Council held a special council meeting prior to the regular committee of the whole meeting.
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Council heard an update from Denise Lines of the Council Remuneration Wage Review task force regarding compensation provided to council members. They recommended a number of changes to wording in the policy, as well as recommended a 5 per cent increase in remuneration to both council members and the mayor, and a 1 per cent increase in the honorarium for 2020 and 2021. It was noted a recent federal bill will remove the “one third” tax exemption previously enjoyed by elected officials, in effect on January 1. The task force recommends to increase the daily per diem rate $10, as well as increase the allowed per diem days from 10 to 12 for the mayor and 5 to 7 days for council. An annual cell phone allowance as well as a portion of medical benefits were recommended as well. The task force suggested they should review the policy every two years, with Councillor Jay Garbutt recommending that in the future the review be completed as close to election as possible. A request for direction from corporate services director Barb Miller will be brought to council in January.
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Council passed second and third readings of the Utility Rate Bylaw. A chart comparing rates to similar sized communities was provided and showed Drumheller is actually in the bottom third of comparable communities.
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Council heard an update from deputy CAO Miller regarding proposed service fee changes, which largely consist of nominal increases to fees. The full document is available on www.dinosaurvalley.com.
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Council approved a request for decision to authorize expenses in 2019 of expenditures not included in the budget and occurring before the budget is passed.
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The regular committee of the whole meeting was called to order.
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Council heard delegation from Kevin Blanchett of the town’s public works department. Mr. Blanchett suggested making modification to the annual spring clean up plan, possibly to change it to happening every two years. He also suggested potentially moving the clean up to the fall to better accommodate other public works projects. Councillor
Garbutt voiced concern that it is an important service for residents. Mayor Heather Colberg suggested the clean up may actually create a build up of waste as residents wait for each year for spring clean up. Mr. Blanchett made recommendations to reduce costs for the municipal airport after being asked to look at a 5 per cent budget reduction, and made a series of recommendations regarding airport lighting on the runway as their system is currently down. Councillor Fred Makowecki said he has issues with numerous aspects of the airport and said perhaps council should look at changing how the airport is operated. Councillor Garbutt agreed and said discussion of the town divesting from the airport has been a topic of discussion.
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Council heard a delegation from April Harrison and Laura Dougan of Family and Community Support Services. Ms. Harrison said there have been some staffing changes over the last year, and FCSS has organized a number of events such as the Picnic in the Park, the seniors dinner, and other community services. FCSS is applying for a number of grants this year. Council heard results from a recent poverty study in the Drumheller community. She said we need more affordable housing and rental units in Drumheller, now and in the future. She said there is a significant need in Drumheller for a temporary shelter and individuals must travel to nearby urban centres if needed. Ms. Harrison identified a number of areas of cost reduction to the FCSS
budget.


Council Notes from the Regular Council Meeting of Monday, December 10, 2018

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Council Notes

Drumheller Town Council
Regular Council Meeting
Monday, November 26, 2018

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CAO Darryl Drohomerski presented council with utility rate scenarios and comparisons to other communities in regards to setting the utility rates for 2019. Drohomerski said the increase of 5 per cent for water and 2 per cent for waste water because the town was set to better cover expenses related to the utilities and to place money into reserves for improvement projects and amortization. The current
rates are barely covering costs and aren’t saving for the future, he said. Councillor Tony Lacher said he agreed with the increase but asked if administration could look at changing the winter and summer wastewater rates from 80 per cent in the summer to 60 percent in summer and 100 per cent in winter. Councillor Jay Garbutt said this summer discount is not commonplace in other municipalities and ratepayers may not know this. Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk said most families have higher overall utility bills in the winter and would likely not welcome an increase. Councillor Kristyne DeMott made it clear the town was charging less than water utilities cost the town. Mayor Heather Colberg asked council to consider creating a multi-year plan for the utility rate budget. An amended second reading of the utility bylaw with a multi-year plan will be brought to council next week
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Council held first reading of Bylaw 22.18 being a bylaw for the purpose of implementing a tax incentive program for owners of an existing non-residential vacant building. First reading was passed and it will be brought to the next meeting for second reading and discussion.
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Council heard a request for decision from director of corporate services Barb Miller for the write off of bad debt on utility accounts, totalling just over $3,600. Miller said the number of bad accounts has diminished. She said an allowance for bad debt written last year would cover the debt and it would not affect town finances. Council approved the request.
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A public hearing was held to consider Bylaw 18.18, being a bylaw to close a portion of unused and undeveloped street on Riverside Avenue. No members of the public attended. They received correspondence from Alta Gas saying they need easement, or the right to access the land.
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A public hearing was held to consider Bylaw 16.18, being a bylaw to amend the Land Use Bylaw to designate a plot of land in north Drumheller on Bridge Street from Highway Commercial to Residential. A representative from Palliser Municipal Service who said there is a single detached office building on this property but the owners want
to turn it into a residential property. Neighbours had been notified and a notice was published for two weeks in the Drumheller Mail. He said Palliser has no concerns with redesignating the property. After the public hearing, council approved second and third reading of the amendment.
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Council Notes from the Committee of the Whole Meeting of Monday, December 4, 2018

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Council Notes

Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, December 4, 2018

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Council heard a delegation from the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce’s Marley Henneigh, Jeff Hall, and Heather Bitz. This year they advocated worked on issues regarding the mobile vendor bylaw and cannabis legalization. The chamber organizes a number of events each year, including lunch and learns, the Canada Day parade, and many networking opportunities. The World’s Largest Dinosaur visitation has grown nearly 10 percent compared to the five year average. Direct labour costs in the peak season are $12,000 per month, while they are $5,700 in the off-season. The 2018 financial support from the town to the Visitor Information Centre was $46,896. The delegation asked council to consider additional funding in order to keep up with minimum wage increases and the ability to attract employees. Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk asked what amount of increased town funding the chamber is looking for. Mr. Hall said if the town were to fund costs associated with the higher minimum wage, which has increased their direct labour costs from around $46,000 to $62,000. Councillor Tom Zariski asked about measures to reduce the risk of injury or accidents to children during the chamber’s Canada Day Parade. Mrs. Bitz said they have taken measures over the years to increase the security and safety of the event by bringing in additional volunteers, not allowing candy to be thrown in the parade. Mrs. Bitz said they have decided to not move forward with the parade after this year due to increased liability with the event, and will look to pass the event onto another organization if interested. Councillor Tony Lacher asked what other revenue the Visitor Information Centre receives, and Mr. Hall said there is no other revenue other than town funding
and grants which cover temporary employee contracts.
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Council held a discussion over a draft Community Standards Bylaw 7.18. Town CAO Darryl Drohomerski says this draft is a significant rewrite of the existing bylaw, making it easier to understand and enforce. Director of protective services Greg Peters says there was an issue enforcing the noise restrictions in Drumheller, saying the existing bylaw required noise measuring devices. The new section says an individual may not disturb the peace of another person, under certain circumstances and conditions at discretion of the bylaw officer. Additional changes include changes to public cannabis and tobacco consumption. Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk said perhaps the decibel limit on the noise section should remain because it has proven useful in incidents in the past. Councillor Fred Makowecki expressed concern over lowering the prohibition of excessive noise from beginning at 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day of the week, and wondered if it should be later on the weekend. Councillor Jay Garbutt voiced concern over the removal of a loitering provision in the bylaw, saying bylaw enforcement would likely respond more efficiently than police. Mr. Garbutt also suggested the clause regarding bullying should be restored in the new bylaw, as it allows an additional tool to punish incidents of bullying which don’t escalate to full criminal charges. CAO Drohomerski suggested the town look at creating a seperate bylaw to address bullying. Councillor Makowecki asked if there are intentions to increase bylaw enforcement to seven days a week, with Mr. Peters saying it is preferable but they do not have the available/trained staff at the moment. CAO Drohomerski said the RCMP have control of this bylaw, too. Mr. Peters and Drohomerski will take the recommendations into consideration and bring back the bylaw in January.
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