Drumheller Town Council Meetings | DrumhellerMail - Page #33
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Council Notes from the Regular Council Meeting of Monday, January 23, 2017

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Council Notes
Regular Town Council Meeting of Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

At the January 23 Council Meeting Mayor Terry Yemen welcomed Rick Strankman, Wildrose MLA for Drumheller and Settler, to the Town of Drumheller Council Meeting.
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Councillor Sharel Shoff made a motion to amend a land bylaw for the zoning of a lot in East Coulee. This amendment is to change the lot from urban transition district to suburban community residential district. This motion was passed by council.
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CAO Ray Romanetz went over the Town of Drumheller strategic business plan for 2017. Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk made a motion to accept the business plan. The motion was passed.
Councillor Jay Garbutt noted that the CAO succession plan was not included and council discussed implementing it into the business plan for 2017.
2017 corporate priorities for council include; flood mitigation, offsite levy bylaw, economic development function and readiness strategy, celebration of Canada 150 scope and budget, downtown streetscape and beautification for the Valley of a whole, and Rosedale industrial park prospectus.
Some organizational improvements included in the plan are for the media releases of town stories, citizen drop-in time with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and the budget strategy messaging to include the public more within the working of the town.
Paul Salvatore, Director of Community Services, replied to Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk’s question about the planned banners for Canada’s 150 by saying they just received proofs back for banners that will be going up. Mr. Salvatore said they are still talking about the budget for the 150 and what events they will have throughout the year. Salvatore said the budget for the Canada 150 is a separate budget from the Canada Day budget and will have its own funding. Councillor Tom Zariski added they are advertising for the community to get involved in the process of coming up with ways to celebrate the 150 within the community of Drumheller.
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Director of Infrastructure Services, Darryl Drohomerski, gave an update on GFL environmental solid waste collection and their new contract as Drumheller’s solid waste collection. Huxted had the contract for the last 13 years and so far it has been a smooth transition. Mr. Drohomerski said there might be a bit of congestion over the transition for the next two weeks as GFL brings bins into place before they start their regular pick ups February 6. Councillor Patrick Kolafa asked if this will affect the current pick up schedule. Mr. Drohomerski said there would be no change for at least a year.
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Director of Corporate Services, Barb Miller gave an update on the utility accounts that are in serious arrears. Ms. Miller stated there were approximately 90 accounts in considerable arrears, which have been deemed uncollectible. These accounts are all currently with collection agencies. Ms. Miller proposed these accounts, a total of $21,787.73, be written off against the bad debt allowance.
According to Ms. Miller, the accounts in arrears are largely from rental properties. Council discussed a bylaw that only residential owners can have accounts to avoid this from happening. Since the town’s current utility bylaw does not restrict account holders to property owners only, administration is not able to take full advantage of the authority to mitigate loss from bad debt of utilities granted to municipalities through the MGA specifically for this purpose.
Councillor Kolafa motioned to have this put against the allowance of bad debt and the motion was carried.
Councillor Garbutt asked Ms. Miller to clarify these bad accounts are still with collection agencies and they will still be pursuing the collection of these accounts.
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Mayor Yemen gave an update about The Canadian Badlands meeting that took place in Brooks recently. According to Mayor Yemen, during the meeting an app called On This Spot was discussed and Mayor Yemen thought it could have great potential within Drumheller. Mayor Yemen discussed the different projects that Canadian Badlands has on the go such as; Geosites, winter projects, birding, ice fishing derbies, grassland nationalists, music festivals in all the small venues around the badlands, sports council, 2018 Canadian Badlands Tourism Conference to be held in Brooks, and pheasant hunts.
Mayor Yemen said many communities such as Stettler, Taber, and now Rosemary hold pheasant hunts annually. Mayor Yemen said he would like to see this happen in Drumheller. It is held in the winter and would boost hotel stays during the season. Mayor Yemen suggested Council consider finding someone to help organize a pheasant hunt for next year.
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Council meeting was then turned over to in-camera matters.

 

 


Council Notes from the Regular Council Meeting of Monday, January 9, 2017

 

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Council Notes

Regular Council Meeting of Monday, January 9, 2017

To start off Drumheller’s January 9 regular council meeting Mayor Yemen said thank you to all the volunteers over Christmas who took time out of their Christmas holidays to give back to the community.

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CAO Ray Romanetz read the request for decision regarding the two vacancies on the Public Library Board. The Public Library Board proposed that council decide on the two applications received by Ms. Denise Lines and Dr. Sarwat Rehan. Councillor Pat Kolafa made a motion that both be appointed for three year terms. Motion passed unanimously.
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CAO Romanetz also read a request proposed by Palliser Regional Municipal Services that council approve the Town of Drumheller to participate in an application regarding grants for resources to create intermunicipal development plans.

Under the modernized municipal government act, two or more municipalities with common boundaries will now be required to prepare Intermunicipal Development Plans. Palliser Regional Municipal Services is submitting an application to Alberta Community Partnership Grant Program for resources to create this plan.

M.D. Of Acadia No. 34 is the managing partner for the application who wishes to have Drumheller join them. If awarded, the grant would be for up to $200,000. Motion was carried for council to approve joining the application for the grant.
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Barb Miller, Director of Corporate Services gave an update on tax penalty communication. The goal is to educate the public on the tax penalty for late payments on property taxes and how to better avoid this. Ms. Miller said that through the last few years there has been problems when people paid through online banking or through the bank because they did not realize there would be a delay in processing the payment to the town. Whereas paying directly at town hall there is no delay. Council discussed how to help communicate this with the community.
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Council then turned to in camera matters.

Council Notes from the Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

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Council Notes
Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec. 19, 2016


The Town of Drumheller held a special Council Meeting, December 19 to address the issue of raising the Utility Rate pertaining to water and wastewater fees. After an amendment was made at the December 12 meeting to decrease the raise of 5 per cent to 2 percent for water and 3 percent to 1.5 percent for wastewater Council agreed to revisit this matter.

Councillor Jay Garbutt addressed Council stating that he did not want to see rates increase but after reviewing this Councillor Garbutt made a motion to reinstate the original proposal to increase water by 5 percent and wastewater by 2 percent.

Councillor Garbutt said, “I am opposed to this motion and prefer to see the original motion reinstated.”

Councillor Sharel Shoff said she felt they should try to keep the fees the same for another year and feels they should help the people in the community in any way they can.

According to Director of Corporate Services, Barb Miller, if rates go up by 3 percent versus 5 percent the timeline to cost recovery would be 2022 instead of 2020.

Councillor Pat Kolafa said, “I think we are working against ourselves by doing that.”

Motion to decrease fees was defeated. The amendment to have fees increased by 5 percent and 2 percent was reinstated and the motion carried by a vote of 4 to 3. First, second, third readings to reinstate the increase were completed and the motion was passed to keep the previous increase of 5 percent to water and 2 percent to wastewater.

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Council then reviewed the Service Fee Schedule for 2017.

Administration fees will not be facing an increase.
According to Director of Infrastructure Services, Darryl Drohomerski, Airport rates will be going up by $50. Mr. Drohomerski said that in comparison to numerous airport fees Drumheller’s fees are very low and there hasn’t been any raise to these rates in many years.
According to Mayor Terry Yemen, all fees regarding animal licences are staying the same.

Director of Community Services, Paul Salvatore, said Community Services are still focusing on cost recovery. With this focus, fees for the Aquaplex, Arena, Ball Diamonds, and BCF will be facing a 2 percent increase. These new rates won’t be implemented until July 2017. Numerous Council members highlighted the Fee Assessment Program, available for those in lower income brackets. This allows for up to fifty percent discount on most memberships for those who qualify. When challenged Mr. Salvatore acknowledged that Drumheller is on the higher end for fees regarding the Aquaplex but due to still being in cost recovery mode, fees will continue to be higher. The Town also offers many opportunities for families to take advantage of the facilities available in town. Some of these are toonie swims and family fun days at the BCF.

Increases to bulk utility rates will increase like planned. This will affect places like campgrounds with sewer dropping and bulk water usage.

The Service Fee Schedule showed that business licences will stay the same.

Fees regarding the Cemetery will increase by the proposed 2 percent.

Paul Salvatore, Director of Community Services said The Summer Fun, Flex Days, Before and After School Care programs and the BCF birthday party packages are all staying the same for the time being. Since these programs did not meet the revenues in 2016 Community Services will be reassessing the after school fees for changes in the fees for the 2017/2018 year.

Safety fees and development permit fees will be increased by 2 percent. Mayor Yemen stressed the increase of safety’s codes is due to the new contractor fees the town is facing. There has been no increase to these fees since 2012.

Mayor Yemen closed the meeting by acknowledging the hard work of administration to keep increases to a bare minimum.


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