News | DrumhellerMail - Page #17
Last updateThu, 07 Dec 2023 4pm

Dog, owner shocked at Downtown Halloween

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Halloween is a time for tricks and treats, but one Drumheller family is recovering from a traumatizing experience during the Downtown Trick or Treat event after their dog suffered an electrical shock during the event on Tuesday, October 31.
Cassy McEwan took her daughter and a friend to the trick or treat event, along with her two dogs, but could not have imagined how the evening would play out when her dog Bowie stepped into a puddle at Centre Street and 3 Avenue East on the north sidewalk near NN News.
“We were walking along the sidewalk and just passed the barricade when my dog suddenly started crying and screaming,” she says, adding Bowie dropped to the ground.
At first, Ms. McEwan thought Bowie’s costume was causing him distress or pain, and started trying to remove it. She was kneeling just outside the puddle Bowie had stepped in and at first did not realize Bowie was being shocked. It wasn’t until she tried to roll Bowie onto his side that Ms. McEwan says she “felt the current” going up her arm.
Bystander Nicole Hall stepped in quickly to help, picking up the family’s smaller dog while her husband helped to get Bowie out of the puddle.
An ATCO employee who was attending the event was recognized by a witness and an on-call technician was called in. The technician worked to stop the electrical current and “remove the electrical hazard.”
“Town Public Works staff have been working with ATCO to further investigate the area and ensure that the site is safe,” reads a statement from the Town of Drumheller. “This investigation included energization of cables and voltage checks to ensure no issues in the cable feed to the light.”
It further notes power will remain off and further work will be completed “to ensure safety when the power is turned back on.”
Bowie did suffer some burns to his paws but is expected to make a full recovery. Ms. McEwan says she is grateful for everyone from the Town and ATCO who have both reached out to her and her family since, and especially to those who stepped in to help during the incident, including the Hall family.

Material delays push back Aquaplex reopening

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Reopening of the Drumheller Aquaplex has been further delayed, now with an estimated reopening date in late November to early December, due to delays procuring necessary materials for repairs.
The indoor pool at the Aquaplex has been closed to the public since July of this year when a leak after a potential leak was discovered by facility staff, which resulted in the discovery of a medium-sized void.
“Our teams had to purchase a new hairnet strainer for the project, but there were some delays on the arrival of this part,” reads a statement from the Town of Drumheller.
This has resulted in delays to repair the Aquaplex, pushing back the anticipated completion date.
While repairs have been ongoing, other work has also been underway, including relocation of the northwest door due to flood mitigation work, and replacement of the facility’s make-up air handling unit. The make-up air handling unit also faced material delays to procure fans and grates in early October.

Drumheller increases water, sewer, solid waste, recycling rates in 2024

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Drumheller residents will see a slight increase on their Town utility bills in 2024 as council approved a three per cent increase for water, solid waste and recycling services, and a six per cent increase for wastewater services during the regular Monday, November 6 council meeting.
The 2024 Utility Operating Budget along with the three-year Utility Operating Financial Plan were presented to council by Corporate and Community Services director Victoria Chan who explained water and solid waste and recycling expenses are anticipated to increase in 2024; while these expenses are increasing, Ms. Chan noted wastewater expenses will be decreasing slightly.
“Most of the increased expense is based on the projections of the salaries and benefits as we agreed under the contract ratifications with union employees,” Ms. Chan explained during the meeting.
Later in the meeting, Acting Infrastructure Services director Kelcie Wilson shared a briefing note that the 2024 Utility Operating Budget included provisions to increase staffing levels by two Utility Operator positions, and increase of approximately $208,180 annually.
To accommodate for increased expenditures it was recommended to increase the water rate by three per cent, from a rate of $2.2386 per cubic meter to $2.3058 per cubic meter.
A total of nine other municipalities of similar population and size were compared, which included Blackfalds, Taber, Coaldale, Edson, and Olds among others. Based on an average household consumption of 20 cubic meters, it was determined Drumheller falls below the average monthly charges in 2023 of $66.01 at a rate of approximately $62.34 monthly.

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It was also recommended council increase the solid waste and recycling rates by three per cent, from $8.00 to $8.24 per month for solid waste services, and from $3.00 to $3.09 per month for recycling.
Ms. Chan explained Drumheller is well below the average solid waste and recycling rates compared to the same nine municipalities, at a rate of $11.00 per month in 2023 compared to the average rate of $25.37; the next lowest municipality was Drayton Valley at a rate of $19.00 monthly, while Edson had the highest rate of $29.51 monthly.
Wastewater will see an increase in user fees of six per cent, from $2.4131 per cubic meter to $2.5579 per cubic meter in 2024.

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In 2023, a household consuming an average of 20 cubic meters per month would have seen user rates of approximately $53.62 per month. This is below the average cost across comparative municipalities of $61.58, and well below the highest municipality of $112.80 monthly in Olds, though slightly above the lowest municipality in Ponoka at $40.11 monthly.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski noted during the meeting the increase the average user in Drumheller will see monthly is about the cost of a coffee and muffin from local coffee shops.


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