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Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

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.


Hussar joins Alberta Municipality political call

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The Village of Hussar has joined the call to keep political parties out of local elections. At the Tuesday, March 5 Regular Meeting, council members were presented with a Request for Decision about the Alberta Municipalities (ABmunis) resolution they have underway to keep this from happening.

Last year, ABmunis asked Albertans to complete a short online public survey, conducted by the Government of Alberta, in relation to the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA), and their mission to keep local elections separate and prove that Albertans are not supportive of political parties interfering with them.

“Provincial party affiliation should have no bearing on local Municipal governance or elections. Everyone has their own thoughts and preferences in political parties but at the local municipal level as a councilor, in my opinion you can't let that influence how you govern your municipality. As local elected officials we have to work effectively and respectfully with whichever party is in power at the time,” Hussar Mayor Les Schultz tells the Mail.

ABmunis has concluded from the results of the survey, conducted by Janet Brown Opinion Research in September 2023, that Albertans explicitly do not want the encroachment of political parties at the local level. The Government of Alberta has yet to commit to casting aside any plans to leave local elections independent, although the vast majority, almost 70 per cent of Albertans, are not in support of the interference.

“Sixty-eight per cent of respondents indicated that they would prefer to see municipal candidates run as individuals. Only 24 per cent of respondents would prefer to see municipal candidates run as members of a political party. Sixty-nine per cent of respondents think that political parties would make municipal governments more decisive and less effective,” it states about the survey results in their message to Hussar Council.

Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith mandated a letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver instructing him to work, alongside with Minister of Justice Mickey Avery, to review the LAEA and recommend amendments that will “strengthen public trust in and the integrity of our municipal election laws.”

Water master study looks at water tower demolishing

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A recommendation from the Town of Drumheller's recent Water Mastering Service Study could see to removal of four water towers throughout the community, such as the one located on 3 Street West, built in 1937, and the addition of a 2,000 cubic metre reservoir to serve the community.

mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa 

A Water Mastering Service Study has been conducted to provide recommendations for upgrades to the water storage systems to better meet the needs of the Town and its residents.
Drumheller’s Capital Project Manager Kelcie Wilson, and Utilities Manager Bill Adams presented council with the results of the study at the Monday, March 18, Regular Council Meeting where council members adopted the 2024 Water Mastering Service Study as presented.
The recommendation is to remove the four water towers at Bankview, Greentree, Huntington and Rosedale, and build a 2000 cubic metre reservoir, improving water quality and greater fire flow.
Pressure concerns in several locations do not meet the maximum day plus fire flow criteria. This means the maximum amount of water delivered to the system, or the amount required for a fire hydrant to deliver for firefighters, is not meeting their full capacity.
“It is noted that there is sufficient pumping capacity at the water treatment plant to meet the system demands, and there’s also sufficient treated water storage to meet system demands,” states Wilson, “Although, much of our total water storage from our water towers is not useful or practical due to its low elevation relative to its service area.”
The Town had already approved $200,000 to the Utility Capital Budget for maintenance on the Bankview and Huntington towers, but the funds were reallocated to the Reservoir Pre-Design plans that are underway.
“All we’re really doing here is deleting the two stations and reallocating the same amount of money to a new Reservoir Pre-Design, and the pre-design allows you to go ahead down this road of reaffirming the study planning for this eventual replacement,” said acting Deputy Mayor Tony Lacher at the meeting.
There are also plans to twin the main from the water treatment plant. This will to coordinate the upgrades those water mains need. Extending the water main south of the Royal Tyrrell Museum may be required to better service Starland County and a new water main is proposed for Rosedale to better meet the fire flow targets there.
The total projected cost of upgrading the existing water towers is $6.2 million, where the construction of the reservoir, with the cost of decommissioning the existing towers is just over $5.6 million.


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