Mayor Terry Yemen opened the meeting with an announcement of ‘Plan, Prepare, Be Aware’ Emergency Preparedness Week from May 7 to May 13.
The Drumheller’s Farmers Market Vice President James Bagwell presented at the Committee of the Whole Meeting. The local farmers market has been searching for a new venue as the Co-op Mall is hesitant to say how long they will be able to stay. The Farmer’s Market has reached out to Town Council for help on a new location. The Badlands Community Facility (BCF) was mentioned but council will come up with a possible solution in the future.
Glenda Farman from STARS gave a speech on important new technology introduced in the aircrafts including the 12 Lead ECG, and a Video Laryngoscope which was an “Absolute game changer” for medical personnel in the air.
She mentioned that Universal Blood on Board is now in every aircraft STARS has across western Canada including Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and “is impacting and saving lives.”
2016 Paralympic athlete Jenn Oakes was named a STARS VIP as she had an accident where stars was able to save her life. She participated in the Rio 2016 Sitting Volleyball Paralympics.
For the first time in 25 years, this was the first year that STARS Home Lottery was threatened to not sell out. Farman said that Albertans really stepped up to the plate when they were in need, selling a bulk of their sales in the last day before the closing date.
Farman mentioned that for that they have been in the air for 32 years with emphasis on the no-service cost to Albertans. A formal letter will be sent in the fall, requesting help from the Town Council. Each year, Town Council has provided $5,000 per capita grant to STARS for their local and provincial help to residents.
Farman explained they continue to wait to hear from the provincial government with possible lobbying for funding from them. She also explained why STARS is not under Alberta Health Services as it is not an insurable service and started out with only fundraising.
Last Tuesday, the Drumheller Valley Bus Society appointed a new president Connie Funk and Bill Wulff as treasurer. New office manager was appointed as well.
Tara McMillan gave the eight seniors who attended the meeting ‘kudos for coming out.
The board is in the process of making a survey about efficiency and expectations.
The Town pondered possible uses for the bus system but agreed that the town simply doesn’t have the numbers to go public and must have an emphasis on the disabled and elderly.
Councillor Jay Garbutt said that the Valley Bus service is the “most beloved but least efficient.”
There seems to be enough buses but not enough drivers for buses and none so far are willing to work on evenings and weekends.
Councillor Garbutt brought the Economic Development Budget Amendments to the council’s attention as its last item of the day. The two main points included business attraction and dinosaur theming.
For business attraction, Garbutt wished to ‘leave new business owners saying that was easy’ when leaving to fill out a new business license at the town office.
Manager Ray Romanetz mentioned there was lots of ideas to be reviewed on Wednesday where they will see if everyone is on the same page.
Garbutt mentioned having an addition to Julia for a half-time position. A sales-minded person to cold call but they must figure out what they are selling. Garbutt highlighted the service gaps in town like a lack of lawyers and more attention on seniors. “If you are marketing to everyone you are selling to no one,” said Garbutt. He wants to pinpoint individual businesses that have potential to come to the valley and cater to their unique service.
As for theming, Garbutt emphasised on the ‘Dinosaur Capital of the World’ brand, hoping the concept can be strengthened through signage like garbage and recycling containers with dinosaurs and hoodoo’s. The Town vehicle’s could also be themed. “It costs money but if we have a brand why are we pretending we don’t,” said Garbutt.
Councillor Tom Zariski thought that Coal mining should play a larger role like a possible downtown theme to pay homage to the interesting heritage. 33,000 people visited the coal mine last year compared to 500,000 people visiting the Royal Tyrrell Museum.