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Last updateTue, 28 May 2024 4pm

Wheatland begins review of electoral boundaries

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At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2024, council members were presented with a Request for Clarity regarding the Electoral Boundary Bylaw.

On the Request for Clarity it states that “the main basis of the divisional boundary adjustment is to equally disburse the population among county councillors.” Making sure that Wheatland County’s ever growing population is guaranteed fair representation for all its residents.

At the previous Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, council members were presented with four possible options for the proposed electoral boundary adjustments for review. Each option shows new boundaries for the political divisions mapped out.

It has been 23 years, since 2001, since the last major change to the divisional boundaries took place. With the new election in 2025, the Bylaw needs to be put in place by Tuesday, December 31, 2024, as per section 151 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), which states a Bylaw under sections 143, 148 and 150, must be passed by December 31 of the year before the next general election. Section 148 of the MGA discusses the divisions of wards, which any adjustments to would not take effect until the next election is held.

“Upon reviewing the Bylaw and taking a look at the resident count, and the number of residents per division, we realize that due to growth on the west side of the county that there has been a bit of a shift per division,” states Wheatland County’s CAO Brian Henderson. “The proposed adjustment wouldn’t be so contentious because it would remain seven to seven (amount of divisions) so there would be no shrinking of divisions.”

First reading of the Electoral Boundary Bylaw will have to happen and then council will host an open-house for public engagement.


Property owner appeals Carbon stop order

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On Tuesday, February 20, the Village of Carbon’s acting Chief Administrative Officer and Development Officer Tera Little issued a Stop Order to two businesses because a house was moved to a parcel of land without a Development Permit.

The owner of the house Crispen Sibanda, whose land is registered to his business Chris Maison Renovations, and the company McCann’s Building Movers LTD that moved it on Thursday, February 15, were both issued the orders, after the Village received reports the dwelling was transported to #1 Diamond Valley in Carbon. The home was placed partially on Municipal Land and in too close of proximity of a fire hydrant.

The Lands known as Plan 1011734, Block 15, Lot 1, is zoned for R-1, meaning “Single Dwelling Residential District” according to Land Use Bylaw 2018-804. The home in question is classified as “Dwelling-Moved On” meaning that, according to the Bylaw, it is “a single detached dwelling that has previously been lived in used as a residence or other purpose in a previous location and is proposed to be relocated to a new parcel for use as a dwelling.”

“Let me emphasize that prior to the house being brought to the Village I went through all the proper channels of this, inquiring about the whole process of making these changes to our project,” states Sibanda in an email to the Village of Carbon’s council members. “I did also mention the sensitive timeline to any of the parties involved in said inquiry. I understand that decisions do take time to be made but let me assure you that had we been given an answer within a certain timeline, we would not be having this conversation. My last inquiry was in January 2024. At that time I was told I would get information on what the next steps would be.”

Sibanda also states in the email the house, which he saved and intends to have his family reside in, was salvageable and fit for use. He had multiple inspections conducted on it, and that it has the potential to be a heritage home. He also plans to remodel the dwelling.

“I am aware that the present state of the house is unfavourable. However, we have the intention of gutting it out and implementing changes. We are willing to work with the Village and follow due process.”

“It is the position of the Development Authority that the Order should be upheld, without modification, given that the structure was placed on the Lands without authorization. This is a clear and direct contravention of the Land Use Bylaw. The structure should be removed from the Lands, from adjacent property and from within the Village boundaries,” it states in the Stop Order issued by Little.

An appeal of the order was made to the Regional Subdivision and Appeal Board where a hearing was held over Zoom on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

There were several people in attendance and those involved believed that it was a fair hearing.

A lawyer is set to start drafting the decision which will have to be reviewed by the board.

The written decision should be completed and issued within the next couple of weeks and will be posted to the Parkland Community Planning Services website.

Chamber holds 2024 AGM

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The Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce has a new board member, and three positions filled.
The Chamber held its Annual General Meeting at the Badlands Community Facility on Wednesday, March 27. The Chamber saw Lisa Magee of ProPlan Financial Group/The Cooperators re-elected to another term, as was Brandi Schneider of Drumheller Registries. The Chamber also welcomed Jaco La Grange of Barry James LPP as its newest board member.
The Chamber has 11 directors. Under its current bylaws, there are 13 positions.
It has been a busy year for the Chamber of Commerce, and part of that is reviewing its bylaws, which have not been updated since 2006.
“The intent of the review is to ensure that the bylaws reflect currency operations, improve reliability and comply with the Boards of Trade Act,” explains Executive Director Heather Bitz in her report. “The act is federal legislation that our chamber is incorporated under. Our bylaws must adhere to the requirements of the act.”
The Chamber has also begun the process of creating a new strategic plan that identifies success indicators, objectives and tasks that will lead them through the next three years.
Chamber membership remains strong with 240 members, including welcoming 24 new members.
In its advocacy efforts, it submitted correspondence regarding paid parking, downtown road closures related to events, and downtown streetlight outages. It has also provided letters of support for its members and partners for a variety of projects.
The Building Enhancement grant, a partnership among the Chamber, the Town of Drumheller, and Community Futures continues to be successful, and in 2023, it provided $35,000 to support 13 projects.
The World's Largest Dinosaur (WLD) also had a strong year, welcoming 139,599 visitors.
This was the second busiest year for Tyra, only down 1.2 per cent from 2022.
Tyra also received a little TLC. F&D Scene Changes were on site for four weeks in the fall, doing maintenance to address corrosion on the steel interior structure.
The WLD also saw a growth in revenue over 2022 with gains in admissions and sales.
The Visitor Information Centre supported 33,483 in-person visitors. It also provided visitor services via email, telephone and social media.
In 2023 it introduced its digital kiosk, which will help supplement its services.


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