News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2872
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Development permits top $10 million mark

The Town of Drumheller has just compiled the building permit statistics from 2011 and the numbers show growth in most areas has slowed.
    Last year, the total construction value of all developments was $10,757,080, a considerable drop from $26,164,541 in 2010.

    The major project that contributed to the higher numbers in 2010 was the Badlands Community Facility. In the previous three years, major institutional (public buildings) projects had skewed the total numbers to be considerably higher as well.

    The number of permits also decreased slightly from 108 in 2010 to 94 in 2011.
    The two areas where Drumheller has experienced growth are in commercial and farm properties.
    In 2011, the total value of commercial construction was $5,387,845, an increase of $2,901,845 over the previous year.
    The bulk of the commercial construction value ($3,920,000) in 2011 is attributed to the new Chinook Credit Union building. Other major projects included the McDonald’s renovations and the construction of LubeX.
    For farms, there had been no activity in 2010. One permit was issued, with a value of $140,000, in 2011.
    The remaining areas, industrial, institutional, and residential were lower in 2011.
    There was a drop in industrial construction values in 2011 with one permit issued. The addition of a new warehouse in 2010 for W. Ralston (Canada) Inc. was valued at $560,000. The one permit issued in 2011 was for $305,000.
    “You’ve got to think back ten years ago and how many vacancies there were. It’s not the case anymore, there’s little land there for development. There are lots available in Rosedale and we can create the conditions where businesses are going to want to snap them up,” said Paul Salvatore, Director of Community Services.
     There was a huge drop in institutional construction permits and value between 2010 and 2011. In 2010, the construction of the Badlands Community Facility accounted for a whopping $15,735,200 of construction value.

Since 2007 the value of institutional projects, such the new St. Anthony’s School and Badlands Community Facility, had climbed, resulting in roughly $55 million worth of projects.
    The numbers drop to a considerably smaller $530,000 in 2011, with the major project accounting for that being the construction of a steel catwalk in the Royal Tyrrell Museum Cretaceous Garden.
    For 2012 the major institutional project that the Town is looking forward to is the relocation of Town Hall, currently estimated to be $2 million.
    Residential construction experienced a drop as well. In 2010, the total value of construction was $6,963,341 for 86 permits, compared to $4,394,235 for 75 in 2011.
    The construction of the Riverside Gardens condominiums is the largest residential project in 2011 and accounted for $832,545.
    There are some new major residential projects in the works for 2012.
    “The key, is we’re going to look at some opportunities for housing. There’s Hillsview and Elgin Hill that we’re going to be looking at for development. If we can create some additional housing, that will help some of our key employers to attract the staff they need,” said Salvatore.
    The drop in building permits and construction values does not necessarily mean Drumheller is mired in a downward trend. It is hoped the strengths built in the previous four years will spur development in the years to come.
    “We’re part of the Alberta economy. We tend to follow the development you might see in other parts of Alberta,”  said Salvatore. “I think we are in a competitive place here, but we have some of the services other communities can’t offer and that will be a key for companies to locate in Drumheller.”

DHS date stone returned home

    Almost four years have passed since the original Drumheller High School (DHS) burned, and this week the date stone from the building was  returned to its rightful owner.
    On March 4, 2008, the school building, which was vacant at the time, caught fire at about 2:30 in the afternoon. By nightfall the site was in ruins, walls had collapsed and rubble was strewn about.
    The school, through its history, served as a high school, the East End Elementary School and housed the Big Country Educational Consortium.
    During the clean up a few relics from the building were set aside, including the  approximately one yard long rock with the date 1928 engraved in it. The items were left on the edge of the lot. Not long after, the stone went missing.
    Liana Obuck owned the building and was incensed when the stone went missing.
    “I am not a greedy person, but of the many things that have been stolen, it hurts they took that,” she told The Mail in its April 8, 2009 edition upon learning of the stone’s disappearance.
    Obuck also owns the Waldorf Hotel and recently the business received an anonymous phone call with information about the whereabouts of the stone.
    The information was passed onto the RCMP, and this week two RCMP officers hauled the stone to the Waldorf.
    Obuck said they probably are not going to proceed with criminal charges.
    She is grateful the stone was returned intact. With it missing for so long there could have been a range of outcomes. Someone could have stolen it to sell or vandals could have simply smashed it.
    When The Mail originally spoke to Obuck about the stone in 2009 her intentions were to donate the stone to the Town of Drumheller to be preserved, and her wish has not changed. She has already been in contact with the Town for future plans to preserve and display the relic.

DVSS looks to offer new hockey program

    Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) is looking to hit the ice in a new hockey program.
    To get the puck sliding on developing the program, a minimum of 20 interested students is required. The program would be for any students, male or female, and offered in Grades 10, 11, or 12.
    Should there be enough interest, the school would then hire a certified teacher with a background in hockey and coaching.
    The inspiration for the program comes from the successful high school hockey programs in Strathmore and Three Hills.
    “The programs have turned out well in Strathmore and Three Hills. In Strathmore they have a waiting list,” said Curtis Lapierre, principal of the DVSS. “I think this would be a good program for Drumheller. A big part of what we do here is athletics and hockey fits nicely into our school culture.”
    Lapierre went on to explain  the ability to market the DVSS international program to Eastern Europe makes the creation of such a program a good move for the school.
    The program would be a skills development program. Students would learn the skills needed to play the game, leadership, and coaching. On top of the skills being learned, students would earn five high school credits per year.
    Unlike other sports at  DVSS, the hockey program would not be competitive. Competitive play is restricted to minor and junior hockey leagues.
    The cost for participating is estimated to be between $400 and $500 per student. The fees would cover renting ice time and transportation to and from the arena.
    The deadline to express interest is mid February. For more information visit or call Lapierre at 403-823-5171.


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