News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3198
Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2024 3pm

Badlands Rail Company preparing final offer to purchase rail line


    The Badlands Rail Company (BRC) is preparing to make a final offer to purchase the rail line between Lyalta and Oyen.
    This follows two proposals already submitted to CN from BRC who proposes to lease the Oyen to Lyalta rail line, and purchase the west line.
    The line would be used for grain transportation and future community and economic development.
    Their first offer was rejected, and the second one was counter-offered. 
    “The first offer was rejected with a number of areas to be improved on,” said Brad Wiebe from Palliser Regional Municipal Services.
    “A few changes were made before being re-submitted, and the second one received a counter offer from CN and at that point, the valuations were quite far apart. That’s the issue right now. “
    Since CN issued a Notice of Discontinuance at the end of December 2009, the BRC  has worked hard raising funds to accompany an offer submitted to CN.
    At the time they believed an offer would look like about $8.3 million and aimed to raise $250,000 to accompany the offer.
    Wiebe confirmed they managed to raise close to this amount, however he told The Mail, “the original idea was to get enough to be able to accompany an offer in the five or 10 per cent range it might end up being. That was based on quite a bit lower numbers than what CN is looking for.”
    He added it was going to be hard to get to a number CN was looking for, due to the numbers of risks involved -  the line contains 110 bridges to maintain - and the fact that it has been sitting vacant for about two years so its maintenance has been differed for a long time.
    “It doesn’t feel like they are helping,” said Wiebe, “They haven’t changed their offer in any way.”
    Wiebe said BRC has a grant application in through the Green TRIP (Transit Incentives Program) and they are keeping the provincial government informed, and looking for funding opportunities.
    BRC now has until August 16 to make their final offer and obtain an agreement in principle.
    If no agreement has been reached by that time, CN is then allowed to advertise the next stage of the process, according to the Canadian Transportation Act, and this is to advertise the line to the provincial and municipal government.
    If the government does not express an interest in the line, it then goes to any offers for any purposes said Wiebe.
    “That’s when it can get a little dangerous, because then it doesn’t have to be Alberta’s railway, it could be for salvage, anything can be done.”
    BRC is keen not to let the line go.
    “I really feel that if we let it go, we are going to run into serious problems down the road, with transportation, fuel prices, tourism and a lot of potential industries relying on rail for transportation. If you don’t have that option, it’s just another kick to rural Alberta.”
    “It’s been great with all the support and help that the group has had and has provided, a lot of people have put in a lot of hours into trying to make this happen,” he said.
    “It has just been a little frustrating, we don’t seem to have the major provincial support so far that we are going to need to make this happen.”

Town still investigating water discolouration


Water discolouration that Drumheller residents and businesses may have experienced recently has the town puzzled as to its origin.
Al Kendrick, director of Infrastructure Services told inSide Drumheller they are investigating all avenues as to what might be causing this issue and are looking for a contractor to do a full investigating on the line in question.
He confirmed the problem comes from the main line from the treatment plant and they have had issues with that particular line before.
“We know it was thoroughly flushed last year and you didn't expect to have any more issues with it for a number of years,” he explained.
Kendrick said the problem appears to be intermittent and a few businesses along the main line seem to have experienced the problem.
He confirmed the water is safe to drink, adding that they have re-sampled everything along the line.
If people experience discolouration, he recommends running the tap for five or ten minutes and it should run clear again.

Badlands sports complex aims at green certification

cagbc_logo.png    Construction on the Badlands Community Facility officially began last week with a facility ground-breaking, and it has now been announced the building will strive to reach green certification from an international company.
    The sports complex design will be aimed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.
    “It’s fabulous for us to have a building at this level in the (LEED) program,” says Mayor Bryce Nimmo.
    Nimmo explains that LEED is a world recognized system and was the best choice for environmental requirements.
    LEED is a third-party green, non-partisan, non-profit certification system to label buildings which aim to be green.
    Traits include improved performance, energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity of their impacts.
    It also means the building may be far more economical, as well as environmentally friendly, than another building.
    An aspect the Badlands Community Facility will focus on is energy efficiency. with aims like becoming 50 per cent more energy efficient than a standard building through heavy insulation.
    Bike racks will be installed to support good health and emission free transit.
    The water system will use efficient-technology to reduce typical water use by a third.
    Physical materials for construction will have as much recycle content as possible. Wood will be used from sustainable sources. Waste from construction will also be recycled where possible.
    LEED is based on a number of credits or measures where they identify and set targets for the main environmental issues.
    "We absolutely will follow this trend of building green in the future," said Mayor Nimmo.
    "You'll find that every new building built will try to get some sort of level in LEED."
    This specific criteria is part of the requirements for the LEED SILVER certification. The process of obtaining the SILVER certification involves the collection of information (evidence of compliance) for submission to the Green Council to achieve as many credits as possible.    
    There will be a third party verification and commissioning agenda that will ensure the mechanical systems work together as it should.
    If requirements are met, the Town will receive a plaque with the LEED Silver designation for the facility.
    The highest LEED certifications are platinum, then gold.


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