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Last updateThu, 21 Jan 2021 5pm

2020 - A Year in Review Village of Carbon

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Like many communities, the Village of Carbon was faced with the challenge of navigating event and project cancellations and postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While major infrastructure projects were put on hold in 2020, there is plenty the village can be proud of—and much to look forward to in 2021.
The village office and public works shop were closed to the public at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Council also provided assistance to residents facing financial hardships by waiving utility penalties until the September billing cycle, and allowing residents to make payment arrangements.
Social distancing regulations cancelled many events, including the annual Sports Day. Despite these cancellations, and the closure of the Carbon Centennial Swimming Pool over the summer, the village opened its campgrounds at 50 per cent capacity on June 1. The closure of the pool had some impacts to camping numbers, however, it allowed time for the painting of new murals.
Families also cancelled birthday parties to adhere to increasing restrictions and the volunteer members of Carbon Fire Department stepped in to hold drive-by birthday celebrations for those children who were unable to have birthday parties.
To adhere to social distancing regulations, the village has been holding council meetings via teleconference to allow residents to attend remotely.
Repairs to a walking path, which was damaged in 2018 due to overland flooding of Kneehill Creek, began in August as a capital construction project.
Council also passed amendments to the land use bylaw in August, allowing manufactured and modular homes in the Diamond Estates subdivision on the east side of the village. The subdivision was originally developed in 2009; however, due to limitations on the types of homes which could be built, only two lots had been purchased and developed prior to the bylaw amendment.
Since the amendments were passed, five residential lots have been purchased in the subdivision and are pending further development.
Carbon’s council is made up of Mayor Bryan Peever, Deputy Mayor Dan Clow, Councillor Renee O’Brien, Councillor Michelle Lomond, and Councillor Deb Dunford.

Survey results show support for less fireworks restrictions

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The Town of Drumheller has the results of a survey on fireworks, and it demonstrates residents are supportive of amendments to a proposed bylaw draft to regulate the use of fireworks in the community.
Council held a public hearing on the proposed bylaw at its December 21, 2020, council meeting. Council heard, in writing and in person, from business owners who have begun to sell fireworks, as well as the Chamber of Commerce about their concerns with the bylaw.
The Town of Drumheller followed this meeting up with an online survey to gauge the public’s feelings about using fireworks. The majority are in support of access to them.
The survey showed 78 per cent of respondents feel consumer-level fireworks ought to be permitted. The results were split on whether a permit should exist to support the safe discharge of fireworks. 48 per cent of the respondents favoured permits, while 47 per cent disagreed.
Of the respondents, when asked about their desired firework permits purchasing experience, the majority approved of being able to purchase a permit at a fireworks retailer.
The majority, 76 per cent, felt a $35 permit fee was excessive. When asked what respondents would consider paying, of the 50 respondents to the question 21 suggested no fee, and 34 felt it should be $10 and under.
When asked whether the proposed penalty fees are appropriate, 53 per cent said these are too high, 33 per cent said they are appropriate and 13 per cent say too low.
The survey was presented to council at its January 11 council meeting and is available on its website.
CAO Darryl Drohomerski said council will be discussing the results of the survey, the discussion at the public meeting and possible amendments at its next council meeting on January 25 and then present second reading of the bylaw at the following council meeting.

Inmates engage in hunger strike at Drumheller Institution

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Inmates at the Drumheller Institution engaged in a hunger strike following restrictions and lockdowns due to a number of reported COVID-19 cases among the inmate population.
It was reported by the Calgary Herald on Friday, January 15 “more than 30 inmates” are participating in the hunger strike, which began on Saturday, January 9, to protest the ongoing lockdown.
“Last week, one inmate from Drumheller Institution declared they were on a hunger strike,” said a spokesperson for Correctional Service Canada (CSC). “We worked with the inmate and found a resolution to the issues which led them to begin a hunger strike. There are no inmates currently on hunger strike at Drumheller Institution.”
A total of 39 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 since the first cases were reported on December 24; as of Monday, January 18, all reported cases have recovered and there are no active cases at Drumheller Institution.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, in-person visits have been suspended for both the minimum and medium security facilities at the Drumheller Institution.
“Drumheller Institution continues to operate under modified routine as a means to protect staff and inmates from COVID-19 infection. As part of the infection prevention and control measures currently in place, inmates of one unit at the institution are presently being isolated,” the spokesperson stated. They added, “Normal routine will be re-established at the institution once managers, following public health advice, determine it is safe to do so.”


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