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Last updateThu, 12 Dec 2019 6pm

$50,000 raised in Badlands Rail initial offering


    The campaign to purchase the rail line between Lyalta and Oyen is in full swing, as Brad Weibe of Palliser Regional Municipal Services, with Art Stacey and Hal Koberinski of RailWest Management, a company contracted to study the viability of developing a short line railway, were on tour to surrounding communities last week to garner support.
    The group was in Drumheller on Thursday, December 3 to make their presentation. About a dozen came out in Drumheller for the presentation.
    Part of the presentation was to garner support morally and financially.
    Time is of the essence for group as those at the meeting were told CN has issued Notice of Discontinuance.
     The notice appeared in the December 4 edition of inSide Drumheller. The company made official notice it intends to sell its ownership and operating interest in the Drumheller Subdivision (near Hanna to Lyalta) and the Oyen Subdivision (Hanna to Oyen). A deadline for parties to make their interest known is February 15, 2010.
    Art Stacey explained through RailWest Managements’ studies of the line they have concluded that a viable short line railway can be built from Oyen to Lyalta. Not only would the line be a savings for shareholders that wish to ship their grain via rail, but it could also have economic spin offs and future community and economic development.
    He says CN has an interest in selling the line at a discounted price to a short line operator as it could lead to more business being delivered to CN from producers on the line.
    “If it goes through, they (CN) are getting a lot more traffic for free to pick up and take to the coast. They have a benefit. Where they gain they don’t have a railway to maintain to a Class A level,” said Weibe.
    Mr. Stacey laid out RailWest Management’s proposed plan of action. They believe the most viable plan moving forward would be to lease the line from Oyen to Drumheller, and to purchase the west line, and believe an offer would look like about $8.3 million.
    He says this is a good plan because typically on a leased line there would be no rent for five years, and it would be difficult to raise the estimated $22 million to buy the line outright.
    To be ready to make an offer they hope to have raised $250,000 by the February 15 deadline in order to make a serious offer to CN. The Badlands Railroad Company has been incorporated to make this transaction.
    At the meeting they introduced their initial share offering. They are offering Class A voting shares at $1,000 each in hopes of raising an initial deposit to make the offer. Mr. Stacey says this share offering is very low risk because if the offer is rejected, the investors will see their money returned.
    Weibe said the two days of meetings were productive. They raised about $50,000, and as importantly they have individual support.
    ‘It's a good start, we also have a 20 to 25 member board of directors that was set up, so it is good support in both ways from these meeting in terms of people power and financially,” said Weibe. There is still a long ways to go financially. It at least gives us a starting point now this board of directors can give us direction.”
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One last chance for Morgan Jayne Project Christmas Appeal


    The Morgan Jayne project is focused on bringing Christmas to children in the Roatan, although it looks like their original shipment will not be making its way to the island for the holiday.
    inSide Drumheller brought readers the story of the most recent snag the Christmas Appeal ran into in its November 27 edition. At that time US Homeland Security turned back the shipment of items collected for the Annual Christmas Appeal. This was more than 3,000 pounds of gifts for children and their families in Honduras. The reasoning was that within these boxes there were items such as toothpaste that needed approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they entered the United States.
    The project enlisted the help of a generous group of volunteers from a church in St. Mary’s Ontario. They went through each package and took out what they thought were the offending items.
    When the repacked boxes made their way to the border, they were again turned away.
    This time according to Fred Meacowecki it was because each box, even when being held in bond, which means it is not destined to stay on American soil, need to be itemized and a value give for each item, and a tariff number associated with each piece.
    Makowecki said this is an impossibility as there are estimated 3,000 to 4,000 items in the shipments.
    The other option is to send the items via Canada Post, however this is cost prohibitive.
    “This shipment won’t make it this year for Christmas, it’s too late,” said Makowecki.
    The Annual Christmas appeal distributes presents to the children and families that are served by Familias Saluables, the organization which administers the Morgan Jayne Project, and the users of the organ Jayne Infant Care Centre.
    “The wish list goes far beyond the 100 people at the annual Christmas party,” says Makowecki.
    The Christmas Appeal just doesn’t stop at the doors of the clinic. Volunteers distribute gifts to upwards of 300 more children living on remote islands only accessible by small boats, as well as children living in some of the poorest slums in the western hemisphere.
    There is hope. While this shipment will not be proceeding, Makowecki has found a a way to make sure Christmas happens, however it is going to take a concerted effort.
     He has hatched a plan that for this year he would like to assemble a cash donation to allow volunteers working in the Roatan to head to the mainland to buy the gifts to make Christmas come. He hopes to raise $4,000 to do this.
    There is some cash already collected to support the Christmas Appeal, however he is unsure how much of it will be eaten up by shipping to bring the shipment back to Drumheller, to be sent out at a later date.
    “Now we’re going to Facebook the heck out of it and spread the word,” he said.
    It appears to be working. On Monday shortly before noon he made a post, “We are going to make this work. To get all the boxes back, then out will preclude us from a Christmas delivery. So the plan is to raise $4,000 by the end of the week, send it to the island where they will go to the mainland and buy 400 presents. Our boxes here will be sent out over the next few months as we raise funds. Please help...we can make this happen.”
    By day’s end almost $400 had been pledged by supporters.
    To make a donation to help make Christmas happen for children in Roatan affected by AIDS, donation can be mailed or dropped off at Image Crafter in Drumheller addressed to The Morgan Jayne Project c/o Fred Makowecki, Box 2498, Drumheller Alberta T0J0Y0. He asks that donations have an address attached to send the tax receipt.

Drumheller Institution staff awarded for long-time service


    Two employees from the Drumheller Institution were awarded the Correctional Exemplary Service Medal in Ottawa on Saturday.
    Mike Hanly, warden and Kris Kucher, works assistant, from the Drumheller Institution, were each awarded the 20 years of Correctional Exemplary Service Medal during the 25th Anniversary of the Correctional Exemplary Service Medal Ceremony.
    The medal was created on June 11, 1984 to recognize employees of the Canadian Correctional Service (CSC) who served in an exemplary manner, characterized by good conduct, industry and efficiency. Recipients must have completed 20 years of full-time service, not necessarily continuous, with one or more of the correctional services in Canada.
    As part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of CSC, the crest has been re-registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority. It has not changed but has had its colours restored to the original pantones and has been once again signed by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
    The awards take place every year in the community of those being awarded, however to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Correctional Exemplary Service Medal, the ceremony took place on November 23 at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa.
    “It was a memorable location and a tremendous honour to be part of this,” said Mike Hanly.

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