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Last updateFri, 24 Mar 2023 11am

Province announces $27.3 million for Drumheller flood mitigation project in 2023 budget

Drumheller Council CAO

The Alberta government will be helping to support additional construction of berms in the Town of Drumheller, as it announced on Tuesday, February 28 it would provide an additional $27.3 million to the Town; this is on top of the original commitment of $20 million from the province for land buyouts and acquisitions.
This funding announcement was part of the 2023 provincial budget of some $24.5 billion announced by Alberta Minister of Finance Travis Toews, and includes increased funding for education and health. The budget also anticipates a $10 billion surplus.
“Mayor (Heather) Colberg is a great advocate for the Town,” Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation and Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner tells the Mail. “It’s great news (the funding announcement), and I’m pleased (Mayor Colberg’s) advocacy paid off.”
In May 2022, Mayor Colberg and Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski lobbied the provincial government for additional funding due to escalating costs on several projects, including the Drumheller Municipal Airport lighting project and flood mitigation.
Mayor Colberg says, with the addition of the $27.3 million, this will bring the total project budget to some $81.5 million.
“Honestly, I was emotional when I heard the announcement,” she tells the Mail.
Although the province has announced the additional funding, Mayor Colberg notes the Town is still waiting to receive this funding and find out if there are any requirements, similar to how the original $20 million was only to be allocated for land buyouts and acquisitions. She anticipates this additional funding could help cover additional costs due to the province increasing the design flow rate from 1,640 cubic metres per second (cm/s) to 1,850 cm/s and may allow construction of some previously unfunded berms in the community.
“I want to commend past councils, previous to the two I’ve been on-the work that was laid down by them, the work that’s been done by administrations,” Mayor Colberg says. “It’s been talked about for years, and I’m just glad we’ve been able to make it all happen. At the end of the day, the goal is just to make the community safe, and the safer we can make it the less worry we have every spring.”
Along with the $27.3 million flood mitigation provision, the Alberta government has also increased funding to support a Healthcare Action Plan, a new Affordability for Albertans program to help offset increased costs affecting Albertans, and increased funding for both kindergarten to Grade 12 education and post-secondary education.

Hanna's Nickelback inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

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They grew from basements and garages in Hanna, gigging at local venues, to becoming one of the biggest rock and roll bands in the world.
Next week, Nickelback will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in Edmonton on March 13. The National Music Centre in Calgary will also be opening a new exhibition highlighting their journey that reads like a rock and roll fairy tale.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past few decades and love that our story and songs continue to impact and entertain people globally,” said Chad Kroeger in a release from the National Music Centre. “We’re humbled and blown away by this induction; and to have an exhibition at the National Music Centre in our home province of Alberta is just further icing on the cake. We hope fans have a chance to enjoy the exhibition in Calgary and we can’t wait to see everyone when we head out on tour.”
The band formed around 1995 as a cover band called Village Idiot featuring lead singer Chad Kroeger and brother Mike, along with cousin Brandon Kroeger and Ryan Peake.
Eventually, after a couple of drummers, Daniel Adair, who played with Three Doors Down, rounded out the lineup.
Ryan’s dad, Jim, will be attending the induction ceremony in Edmonton and is looking forward to it.
“I’m sure they are all pretty stoked about it and we plan to go as a family. I think it will be pretty nice. It’s nice that it is in Alberta,” said Jim.
He recalls their home was often a practice space. He says it is a testament to a lot of hard work.

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“A thing like that takes dedication, a lot of hard work, a lot of travel. It didn’t come quick or easy,” he tells the Mail.
It may also help that Peake comes from a musical family, and Jim used to play himself.
The band made it out of Hanna, eventually to Vancouver, and then the world. After a demo and their first full-length album, they signed with Roadrunner Records and EMI.
Since then, lines from “How You Remind Me,” “Photograph,” and “Rockstar” have become a part of the cultural lexicon.
They have sold over 50 million albums, and collective streams of their singles alone are in the billions.
The 2005 video for the song “Photograph” brought the band back to the area to shoot, with a few local faces featured.
While Hanna Mayor Danny Povaschuk came to the community as the band was already picking up steam, the community has a sense of pride in what Nickelback has accomplished.
“We have their album covers up on all the buildings in town, and we are looking for a spot for the new one. Our Welcome to Hanna sign has ‘The Home to Nickelback’ on it… there are a lot of people who respect and admire what they have done,” said Povaschuk.
In June, the band will be kicking off a world tour.
Fans who don’t get a chance to check them out live, can check out the National Music Centre’s Exhibition in Calgary. This year’s exhibition will feature numerous instruments used by the band, a selection of personal items, concert footage, and behind-the-scenes photos, all of which help capture the band’s upward trajectory and experiences as an internationally celebrated rock band.
The gallery includes a 20 foot video wall and has been outfitted with a full stage display with many of the band’s outfits and customized instruments from the 2015 music video “She Keeps Me Up.”
Watch the Juno Music Awards live on Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m.

Big Valley passes 2023 Operating Budget, one per cent property tax increase

village of big valley logo

Big Valley village council passed its 2023 Operating Budget of $713,503, including a one per cent increase to property taxes during the regular Thursday, February 9 council meeting.
Council also approved a two per cent increase to its flat rate charge for water, equal to 50 cents per month. This increase will help to pay for some costs associated with water loss through the water utility, without impacting or being subsidized by taxes. Along with the Operating Budget, council also considered its Capital Budget.
“No (Capital) projects will be done this year, other than those that were approved in 2022 which weren’t done,” says Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Elaine Macdonald.
During the meeting it was noted the total Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding of $192,000 has been allocated to projects, which are in various stages of completion, and the only funding available for 2023 is a $50,000 allocation from the Federal Gas Tax Fund (FGTF).
CAO Macdonald tells the Mail this funding will be carried forward into the 2024 budget with hopes of being able to complete some larger projects next year.
CAO Macdonald also presented council with a proposal from the County of Stettler regarding cost sharing to have recycling bins remain at the village’s waste transfer site. The county, to date, has been paying the full costs for the bins and collection, along with bins at the Donalda and Town of Stettler sites.
This was having an impact on the county’s budget and ratepayers, and it was originally recommended to remove the bins; however, following a meeting with the two respective municipalities administration and council representatives in late January, it was decided the county was open to a cost sharing venture.
Big Valley will be responsible for approximately 40 per cent of the cost, based on a population formula. Costs in 2022 totalled some $9,200 but it was requested the village pay $4,000 in 2023 due to potential cost fluctuations from surcharges or additional material collection.
This fee was included in the proposed Operating Budget; CAO Macdonald notes residents will see a recycling charge of $1.67 added to each utility bill to alleviate impacts on the tax rate.
There were also added pressures to rising policing costs, which increased from $8,994 in 2022 to $16,196.97 in 2023, along with a $7,402 funding component attributed to the Stettler Regional Emergency Management Partnership Agreement.
Council previously approved an interim Operating Budget in December 2022 which would have allowed up to a three per cent property tax increase. CAO Macdonald noted during the meeting this could be reduced to one per cent due to some amendments in the budget.
It was also recommended to increase the water flat rate by two per cent, equivalent to 50 cents per month on each utility bill. CAO Macdonald notes there will also be an increase to the consumption rate, which was downloaded onto the village and had to be passed down to residents, from the Shirley McLellan Regional Water Service.


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