News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2892
Last updateFri, 01 Dec 2023 2pm

By-election in Big Valley after mayor resigns

    The Village of Big Valley will soon be heading to the polls after its mayor resigned at the beginning of September.
    Mayor Rick Kargaard tendered his resignation at a special meeting of Big Valley Council on September 2. Representatives from Municipal Affairs were at the meeting.         
    According to council minutes, his resignation came out of an exchange over an invoice from Bill Haldane Appraisals.  Mayor Kargaard gave a letter to administration advising he would be resigning from council immediately.
    Councillor Art Tizzard made the next motion at the meeting to return the invoice received from Bill Haldane Appraisals along with a letter advising invoice should be directed to Rick Kargaard, as council had not approved the expenditure.    
    Councillor Tizzard explained the bill was for an appraisal on the fire hall property.  Recently the County of Stettler had taken over fire protection services.
    “It hadn’t really come up to be sold, but he had taken upon himself to get another appraisal done, and we already had one,” said Tizzard. “It was kind of the third time this has happened, where he has done stuff on his own and we had to cover for him. It was decided that we weren’t going to keep doing this.”
    Tizzard said the village was looking at renting space in a county owned building to act as their village shop. The property is no longer available, and now they are planning to use the former fire hall for its village shops. 
    “The price of the appraisal was ridiculous. The price for one building was nearly $4,000,” said Tizzard.
    The Mail called a listing in the phone book for Kargaard and was met with a message saying the number was no longer in service. The Village of Big Valley office was not able to provide a contact for Kargaard.
     The Big Valley by-election on October 24 is to replace Kargaard. Big Valley has  council of three with seats currently held by councillors Tizzard and Gail Knudsen.  Advanced polls were on Monday, October 17.
    There have been two candidates step up in the by-election. Walter Stefanik previously served as mayor but came in sixth place at the general election last October with 52 votes. His competitor in the race, Lois Miller, also ran last October and garnered 63 votes.

Cost of East Coulee water project released

    Residents of East Coulee and Lehigh may have difficulty swallowing the latest estimates for the cost of adding municipal water lines.
    In May of this year, the Town of Drumheller was approved for a $3.4 million grant to extend water from Cambria to East Coulee.
    For years residents have relied on water wells. The quality of water varies dramatically between households, from the crystal clear to the clear as mud.
    The grant would not cover the entire cost however, and residents would foot 10 per cent of the bill through a local improvement tax.
    Until now, East Coulee residents have been kept in the dark as to what the cost will be.
    It was announced in the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, October 17, the price per connection would be $15,768.94.
    This is significantly higher than previous estimates, which had placed the cost at roughly $11,000.
    The cause of the dramatic increase is more accurate determination of how many lots need water. The number of parcels of land that need water has dropped from 295 to 206. Less parcels means the total cost of the project is divided amongst fewer people.
    Two ammortization periods were brought to council, 20 and 25 years. In the 20 year scheme residents would pay $1,095.32 per year in taxes. The 25 year plan would have taxes of $942.08, but at a cost of just over $1,500 more in interest.
    To ease the blow, council believes house insurance will drop, and residents will no longer have to spend money on maintaining their wells.
    East Coulee residents were already divided on the issue, with many reserving their judgment until numbers were given. The higher cost could exacerbate the issue and cause those waiting to reject improvements.
    Council is going to send information to residents regarding the proposed scheme and will soon schedule a meeting with residents to discuss the proposal.

Scotiabank contributes to Badlands Community Facility

    Scotiabank showed its support for the Badlands Community Facility on Friday afternoon by donating $25,000 to the project.
    Drumheller Scotiabank incoming manager Karen Thacker was joined by current manager Debi Kennedy to present Jeff Hall of the Community Facility Fundraising committee, and marketing officer Heather Little with the donation.
    “Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad,” said Kennedy. “Our donation to the Badlands Community Facility demonstrates our corporate and social responsibility objectives including being a positive influence and enriching the communities we serve.”
    Currently, crews are working on paving the roadways and parking lot, installing the siding and moving the cenotaph from behind the curling rink to a more prominent location in front of the Badlands Community Facility.  While work is continuing, Council revealed at its committee meeting that the completion date has been moved back to December 30.
    “We are pleased with the community’s support of the Badlands Community Facility and excited to see the Facility nearing completion,” said Hall, fundraising co-chair.            
    “We hope to continue working with donors such as Scotiabank to further support the campaign and the community as we strive to provide a gathering place for all generations, enhance our infrastructure and improve the community’s overall health and wellness.”


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