News | DrumhellerMail - Page #9
Last updateThu, 30 Mar 2023 3pm

Curling Club continues efforts for new facility

Future Curling Rink Location

A proposed location for the new Drumheller Curling Club facility, not far from the facility’s current location, was outlined on a diagram outlining berm designs for the Centennial Park area during the Thursday, February 9 Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) open house.
The diagrams showed an area east of the Aquaplex, and slightly north of the Drumheller Memorial Arena, noted as the future location of the Drumheller Curling Club; with a location in mind, the club is now working to raise the necessary funds to make the new facility a reality before the lease on their current facility expires in 2024.
“This (location) has been earmarked for a potential curling rink site for some time with our collaboration discussions with the Town,” says Drumheller Curling Club President Debra Walker. “The Town has committed land for the rink, and the current location or this alternative location has been earmarked.”
The need for a new facility was announced by the club in March 2022. At the time the lease for the current facility, which is owned by the Town, was set to expire at the end of June 2022 and, due to several health risks and infrastructure repairs needed to bring the facility up to code, the Town was not looking to renew the lease at that time.
Following the announcement, the Town and Curling Club held a meeting and were able to come to an agreement which would allow the club to continue leasing the facility until June 2024, at which point the club would need a new facility; some minor repair work was also to be completed to help extend the life of the existing facility. So far, some assessments and inspections have been completed, with some work started on some of the required repairs.
Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski tells the Mail when discussions were held about a possible future location, it was discussed there may be some limitations to where the new facility could be located due to berm construction in the Centennial Park area. He explains the club could also build the new facility either perpendicular to the arena, which would allow the existing facility to continue operations during construction, or parallel to the arena which would necessitate the club to pause operations to allow for the demolition of the existing facility prior to construction.
Designs for a new facility were previously brought before council in 2018; at the time, it was estimated a new facility would cost between $5.6 million and $8.4 million.
“Our estimates were well pre-COVID, so some time ago,” Ms. Walker says. “Since then, lumber has increased significantly, inflation has hit Alberta hard, there has been supply issues all over the world, and those factors will have any materials and labour costs increase substantially.”
Ms. Walker shares the club is potentially looking at a different type of structure, known as a “Sprung structure.” This is a high performance tensioned membrane structure, which requires minimal build time, and is a structure commonly used for other curling rinks. However, although the club has not received a quote at this time, they estimate the Sprung structure could still cost upwards of $4 million to $5 million to complete.
The club continues to fundraise, through hosting Family Fun events and 50/50 raffles, including an online 50/50 cash raffle on, and is looking at grants or other funding opportunities to help cover the cost of a new facility. Ms. Walker says these events, unfortunately, have not been “near large enough or fruitful enough” to help the club to raise the money necessary.
There are also grants and other funding opportunities the club is pursuing, but as many of these are matching grants the club is currently unable to access this funding as it does not have the “dollars to match” at this time.
Operating costs for the club have increased, including costs for the ice power plant, and some of the fundraising the club has done has had to cover these expenses.
“We are a small volunteer board, many of us have other jobs in addition to working to save the club. You can appreciate that manpower and financial resources are a challenge,” Ms. Walker says.

Flags at half mast to honour fallen Edmonton police officers

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The Town of Drumheller announces that flags will be flown at half-mast in honour of two Edmonton police officers who were killed in the line of duty on March 16, 2023. Constable Travis Jordan and Constable Brett Ryan lost their lives while serving their community, and their sacrifice will be remembered by all Drumheller citizens.
As a sign of respect and mourning, the flags in Drumheller will be lowered to half-mast immediately and will remain that way until the date of the funeral(s). This is a solemn tribute to two brave officers who gave their lives while protecting others.
The Town of Drumheller asks that all citizens join us in honouring these officers and their families. We express our deepest sympathies and offer our support to their loved ones during this difficult time.
Let us remember the sacrifice made by Constable Travis Jordan and Constable Brett Ryan, and let us honour their service and dedication to the people of Edmonton and to our province.

Rails to Trails bridges require inspections


The seven bridges which are part of the Drumheller Rails to Trails project, including six along the trail to Wayne and Kohut Crossing--formerly the Midland Bridge, will need to undergo thorough inspections by Alberta Transportation before they can be converted into pedestrian and active transportation crossings.
Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski explained during the regular Monday, March 6 council meeting it was recently discovered some additional steps would need to be taken, including receiving a Bridge File Number from Alberta Transportation.
“The bridges we have taken over were originally owned and operated as private use bridges by CN Rail. In Canada, the railway companies are federally regulated and do not come under provincial, in this case Alberta Transportation, regulations or authority, and as such they did not have provincial bridge identifiers,” explains director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett.
Mr. Brett notes, as the Town has now taken over these bridges for public, pedestrian use, these structures will now fall under provincial regulations and will require a bridge identifier from the province.
Part of the process will include an in-depth physical inspection of the bridge by Alberta Transportation, which is weather dependent. Wayne Wood of Alberta Transportation says this process has two parts to it.
The first will document the geolocation, type, and configuration of each bridge; this includes entering data “detailing the components that make up the bridge” as inventory.
During the second part of the process, a detailed visual inspection will be conducted, with photos and detailed descriptions logged of the various bridge elements and their condition. Mr. Wood notes the inventory taken for each specific bridge must be entered before the inspection can be entered into the system, which can take some time.
“Typically, bridge inspections look for deficiencies in the bridge condition and identify items that need repairs or upgrading to ensure the safety of the bridge and to maximize the life of the bridge,” Mr. Wood tells the Mail.
As these bridges were previously used for “heavy rail traffic” and will be converted to use by pedestrians and active transportation, such as bicycles, Mr. Brett does not anticipate there will be any significant issues found during the inspections, though he notes these bridges have been idle for many years and there could be some surprises.
Along with the physical inspections, the Town will also need to review records.
Mr. Brett shares the Town recently received some bridge drawings from CN Rail, which will be a significant help. Without these drawings, the Town would have been required to create its own drawings.
This has resulted in some considerable savings on both time and resources, and the Town is working with “experienced bridge inspectors” to help further streamline the process as much as possible.
Mr. Brett says this process has already begun on the Midland Bridge, with a timeline in development for the bridges to Wayne. The Town is aiming to have the Rails to Trails network usable by the community as quickly as possible, but at this time there is no specific timeline on completion.


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