News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2879
Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Town hopeful remediation work on Michichi Creek imminent

    This week the Town of Drumheller received the good news that it is one step closer to having the damage to the banks of Michichi Creek remediated.
    Last April the creek swelled over its banks after unusually high runoff. Residents saw dramatic flooding on properties west of Highway 9 at the intersection of Verdant Valley Road, however more extensive damage was caused to properties on 9th Street West that back onto the creek.
    The Town received an update from Alberta Transportation on the project. It said they are very close to having all documentation in place for repair to the eroded areas along Michichi Creek.
    “We jumped through a whole lot of hoops,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “When we see it happen, I’ll believe, we just have to see it happen. If we have another high water situation there is going to be some loss there.”
    To get the project on the radar, Yemen said council and administration lobbied tirelessly. Because it is a waterway, it involved a number of levels of approval including provincial departments, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In October The Mail reported that Yemen wrote a strongly worded letter to MP Kevin Sorenson urging swift action.
    The Town has granted Alberta Transportation to use the grass lane near the creek to haul in equipment and material to compete the project. A design is in place and Ledcor has agreed to take on the project. There are a couple permits that need to be in place before construction begins.
    The work would take about three weeks to complete, depending on weather.  

Slippery road conditions cause snarl-up on Highway 575

Slippery road conditions following an early morning snowstorm caused a snarl-up on the Carbon Hill on Highway 575.

At about 6:30 a.m., Friday, January 13, a cattleliner from the Wintering Hills Hutterite Colony was taking a load of 171 pigs to market in Red Deer. While climbing the hill, the driver realized he had lost traction and would not be able to continue. The driver parked the truck on the shoulder, and after an hour, the livestock shifted the weight of the trailer causing the truck and trailer to roll into the ditch.

The Drumheller Fire Department and RCMP were dispatched and members of the colony came to evacuate the animals using another cattle liner, and trucks with stock trailers.

While they were in the process of removing the cattle, a truck carrying a farming implement jack-knifed descending the hill blocking traffic even longer. A truck with a stock trailer owned by the colony was climbing the hill to aid in the evacuation. When the driver realized the road was blocked, he was forced to back down the hill.

There were no injuries to the driver nor his passenger, however several of the pigs died in the mishap.

Heavy duty tow trucks were called in from Calgary to right the cattleliner once the animals were removed.

Group explores rural cultural cooperatives

    Rural Sustainability is the goal behind a movement towards a Badlands Cultural Cooperative.
    In November of this year about 47 attendees from all over Canadian  Badlands met in Rosebud to look over the idea. LaVerne Erickson of the Rosebud Community Enhancement Society facilitated the meeting.
    “We listed all sorts of ideas we thought we would like to get started on, and looked at it like a business incubator and asked what kinds of businesses could we get going based on any facet of rural life, whether it’s agriculture, horticulture, arts and culture… it is looking at culture as a rural way of life.”
    In attendance were consultants who are involved in cooperatives, with experience that ranged from rural cooperatives to cooperative housing developments.
    Erickson says the vision of the cooperative would be to get existing businesses involved as well as developing new businesses. Together they could work on common goals such as marketing.
    “We wanted to make use of the momentum that has been garnered in the tourism industry by Canadian Badlands Limited. Through the municipalities that are part of the Canadian Badlands we can identify home-based businesses that could be networked and generally market themselves under an umbrella name like Canadian Badlands Cultural Cooperative,” said Erickson. “You could go to the website of that cooperative and see someone doing quilting or welding or blacksmithing; anything that we can think of that could have a cottage industry and sell it.”
    He said the biggest problem with cottage industries is their inability to get their name out.
    “There are lots of great ideas but due to lack of profiling of their business or their ingenious endeavours, they never turn into a viable business that would support them. If we are going to reinvent ourselves in rural Canada we are going to have to be highly creative and think of businesses that could take root in rural areas and sustain us.”
    He said there are all kinds of possibilities, from online promotions to cooperative marketplaces.
    It was decided at the meeting that the best route to explore was to not specifically focus on a cooperative, but explore the ideas through the society model.
    “Once those ideas have taken root, and we have active businesses, then each of those bushinesses buy a share in the cooperative,” said Erickson.
    He said in the initial phases a society, because it is non-profit, it is able to tap into grants; however, the long term goal are for the businesses to benefit and make money.
    “Then as it moves along, and there are profits that could be shared by members, then we could move it into the cooperative mold because we are trying to create businesses so that people can make a living here.”
    Canadian Badlands Ltd. provided seed funding from the Rural Community Adaptation Program, from Alberta Agriculture and Rural development.
    “It is a real challenge we face, trying to save our rural economy and trying to keep a viable cultural environment out here, a vibrant way of life,” said Erickson. “This is happening all around the world, where the urban areas are becoming very powerful and the rural areas are in constant decline.”


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