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Last updateWed, 12 May 2021 1pm

Council passes Mill Rate Bylaw

Copy of Drumheller council building

While Drumheller Town Council was able the hold the line on spending in their 2020 operating budget, increased requisitions, and a lower assessment value saw the Mill Rate increase slightly.
Council passed the Mill Rate Bylaw at its Monday, April 19 meeting. The combined residential Mill Rate, which includes school and Drumheller and District Senior Foundation, was set at 11.85663, up from the 2020 Mill Rate of 11. 56901. The combined non-residential Mill Rate went from 17.81293 to 18.73769.
This means for a residential property valued at $250,000, taxes would go from $2,892.25 to $2,964.16. This would be if the property assessment maintained the same value. However, assessment values have dropped over the last year.
Of the $19 million drop in taxable residential assessment values, $3.6 million relate to properties that became exempt as they were bought up as part of the flood mitigation program. The remaining $15.4 million decrease is related to changes in market value. Non-residential properties saw an average drop of 2.3 per cent.
“What that means for municipalities is even if tax requisitions stay the same, Mill Rates will go up. But that doesn’t necessarily mean taxes will also go up. It depends on the properties,” explains Director of Corporate Services Mauricio Reyes. “On some properties, taxes can increase, for some, it will actually decrease, and some will see the same amount as in prior years. So it is really important to mention why, and it’s because of the assessment.”
The requisition from the Alberta School Foundation increased in 2021, and the requisition from the Christ the Redeemer Catholic School Division decreased. The Drumheller and District Senior Foundation requisition increased, however as Councillor Tom Zariski noted this is because the requisition is based on assessments of all the partner municipalities of the Foundation, including Delia, Morrin, and Starland County.
While tax rates cannot be appealed, a resident can appeal their assessment. For a property owner to appeal, the first step is to compare your assessment to other similar properties. This can be done at town hall. If you are not satisfied, you can file a written appeal to the Assessment Review Board Clerk at the Town of Drumheller Office. This appeal must be done within 60 days of the Notice of Assessment date. There is a fee to appeal, which will be refunded if the board rules in your favour or the appeal is withdrawn before it being heard by the board. More information is available at www.drumheller.ca or by calling 403-823-1314.


Elks donation to Drumheller Area Health Foundation supports patient safety, care

ElksChequePresentation

Drumheller Area Health Foundation (DAHF) was presented with a cheque donation in the amount of $2,754 by Alberta Elks Foundation and Drumheller Elks #54 on Tuesday, April 13.
The donation will help purchase a bariatric commode for the Occupational Therapy department. Remaining funds will be used towards DAHF’s 2021 fundraising goals to purchase a new laparoscopic tower for the operating room, and purchase chairs which can be easily cleaned to meet COVID-19 transmission prevention protocols for the Acute and Continuing Care, and the waiting room. At the presentation (L-R) Drumheller Health Centre site manager Nathan Banda, Councillor Tom Zariski, Alberta Elks Foundation Phyllis Anderson, Occupational Therapist Beth Pizor, Drumheller Elks #54 Gail Schrock, and DAHF Director Melanie Nelson.

Teen sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder

court

The details of this story may be disturbing to some readers

A teen appeared in Court of Queen’s Bench on Friday, April 23, to be sentenced for her role in the murder of 36-year-old Fazal Rehman in October of 2017.
The teen, who cannot be identified under the provision of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged with accessory after the fact of murder and attempting obstruction of justice on June 5 of 2017. These charges were later upgraded to murder. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in January of this year.
Fazal Rehman died at the hands of Dylan Howard on October 16, 2017. Rehman was shot and stabbed before he and his car were doused with a mixture of gasoline and diesel, and set afire in a rural area near the Village of Morrin. Howard pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 25 years.
The court heard of the teen’s role in the murder. At 15, she had already developed a serious drug addiction. She knew the victim as she and Howard would procure drugs from him. Motivated by being sexually abused by the deceased, she helped to lure Rehman to the rural area from Calgary. She broke into her mother‘s home and stole a rifle, a clip, and ammunition from a closet.
While she did not participate in the murder, she was there when it happened and helped dispose of the gun and knife, neither of which have been recovered. She also participated in coming up with a fictitious story to cover the murder.
The youth had a difficult upbringing that included sexual assault at a very young age by her father, spent time in foster care, and a strained relationship with her mother and stepfather. As a teen, she began using drugs and alcohol, and by the time she was 15, she was addicted to cocaine and methamphetamines.
Crown Prosecutor Mac Vomberg, in his sentencing submissions, noted that while she had a dysfunctional upbringing, she took an active role in the crime.
Vomberg read victim impact statements to the court from the family of Rehman.
“My husband was like the whole world for our family,” said his wife and mother of four children, Sadia Rehman.
The teen has spent 466 days in custody, and after gaining release, has spent 589 days under strict conditions from the court. Defence attorney Andrea Urquhart told the court her client is maintaining her sobriety and has expressed remorse. She has completed treatment for her addiction and counseling while incarcerated, and that continued while she was on release.
While the Crown and defence were agreeable that she has spent an appropriate period in custody, they were not in agreement on a period of probation. The Crown asked for two years, while the defence argued the defendant has made progress in her rehabilitation.
“There has already been significant rehabilitation in custody and out of custody. She’s not starting from scratch,” said Urquhart.
In handing down sentence, Justice Robert Hall said for her role in the murder, “the harm done was egregious.” He noted her prospects of rehabilitation were very good. He agreed that her period of custody was appropriate, with one year of probation.


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