News | DrumhellerMail - Page #14
Last updateFri, 01 Dec 2023 2pm

Material delays push back Aquaplex reopening

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Reopening of the Drumheller Aquaplex has been further delayed, now with an estimated reopening date in late November to early December, due to delays procuring necessary materials for repairs.
The indoor pool at the Aquaplex has been closed to the public since July of this year when a leak after a potential leak was discovered by facility staff, which resulted in the discovery of a medium-sized void.
“Our teams had to purchase a new hairnet strainer for the project, but there were some delays on the arrival of this part,” reads a statement from the Town of Drumheller.
This has resulted in delays to repair the Aquaplex, pushing back the anticipated completion date.
While repairs have been ongoing, other work has also been underway, including relocation of the northwest door due to flood mitigation work, and replacement of the facility’s make-up air handling unit. The make-up air handling unit also faced material delays to procure fans and grates in early October.

Drumheller increases water, sewer, solid waste, recycling rates in 2024

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Drumheller residents will see a slight increase on their Town utility bills in 2024 as council approved a three per cent increase for water, solid waste and recycling services, and a six per cent increase for wastewater services during the regular Monday, November 6 council meeting.
The 2024 Utility Operating Budget along with the three-year Utility Operating Financial Plan were presented to council by Corporate and Community Services director Victoria Chan who explained water and solid waste and recycling expenses are anticipated to increase in 2024; while these expenses are increasing, Ms. Chan noted wastewater expenses will be decreasing slightly.
“Most of the increased expense is based on the projections of the salaries and benefits as we agreed under the contract ratifications with union employees,” Ms. Chan explained during the meeting.
Later in the meeting, Acting Infrastructure Services director Kelcie Wilson shared a briefing note that the 2024 Utility Operating Budget included provisions to increase staffing levels by two Utility Operator positions, and increase of approximately $208,180 annually.
To accommodate for increased expenditures it was recommended to increase the water rate by three per cent, from a rate of $2.2386 per cubic meter to $2.3058 per cubic meter.
A total of nine other municipalities of similar population and size were compared, which included Blackfalds, Taber, Coaldale, Edson, and Olds among others. Based on an average household consumption of 20 cubic meters, it was determined Drumheller falls below the average monthly charges in 2023 of $66.01 at a rate of approximately $62.34 monthly.

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It was also recommended council increase the solid waste and recycling rates by three per cent, from $8.00 to $8.24 per month for solid waste services, and from $3.00 to $3.09 per month for recycling.
Ms. Chan explained Drumheller is well below the average solid waste and recycling rates compared to the same nine municipalities, at a rate of $11.00 per month in 2023 compared to the average rate of $25.37; the next lowest municipality was Drayton Valley at a rate of $19.00 monthly, while Edson had the highest rate of $29.51 monthly.
Wastewater will see an increase in user fees of six per cent, from $2.4131 per cubic meter to $2.5579 per cubic meter in 2024.

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In 2023, a household consuming an average of 20 cubic meters per month would have seen user rates of approximately $53.62 per month. This is below the average cost across comparative municipalities of $61.58, and well below the highest municipality of $112.80 monthly in Olds, though slightly above the lowest municipality in Ponoka at $40.11 monthly.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski noted during the meeting the increase the average user in Drumheller will see monthly is about the cost of a coffee and muffin from local coffee shops.

Drumheller RCMP, partners execute search warrant

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Two suspects have been arrested following an investigation into drug trafficking which began in September 2023.
Drumheller RCMP initiated an investigation into drug trafficking on September 27 this year following the discovery of a crashed drone near the Drumheller Institution. During the investigation, multiple partners and RCMP Support Units were engaged.
This included the Drumheller Institution, RCMP Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit (SACRU), Drumheller General Investigation Unit (GIS), Strathmore GIS, RCMP Forensic Identification Section (FIS), RCMP Special Investigations, RCMP Auto Theft Unit, and more.
On Wednesday, November 1, a police operation led by Drumheller GIS was initiated in the area of Township Road 252 and Range Road 185 in rural Wheatland County.
RCMP officers from Drumheller, Strathmore GIS, and the RCMP Emergency Response Team also assisted.
During the operation, a suspect vehicle was intercepted in the area and two suspects were arrested. A search warrant was also executed at a rural property.
As a result of the two-month long investigation and search warrant a number of items were seized: a pick up truck, quad, motorcycle, enclosed trailer, holiday trailer, flat deck trailer, suspected stolen items such as tools and equipment, 295 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 233 tablets of suspected fentanyl, contraband cigarettes, drone parts and accessories consistent with drug trafficking, two air guns/pellet guns, brass knuckles, printers and material consistent with VIN tampering and license plate forgery.
The operation also included the execution of a search warrant in a jail cell at the Drumheller Institution where suspected Controlled Substances and evidence of drug trafficking was located.
As a result of this operation, Drumheller RCMP laid a total of 30 charges.
John McConnell, 41, and Hailey Morrison, 30, both residents of Wheatland County have been charged with:
Possession of Methamphetamine for the Purpose of Trafficking
Trafficking of Methamphetamine
Possession of Proceeds of Crime
Possession of Stolen Property for the Purpose of Trafficking
Possess Stolen Property
Fraudulent Concealment
Tamper with Vehicle Identification Number
Furthermore, McConnell is charged with:
Trafficking of Methamphetamine
Possession of Methamphetamine
Fail to comply with an Undertaking Condition
Fail to comply with a Release Order
Operate Motor Vehicle while Prohibited
Possess Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose
Operate a Motor Vehicle Without Subsisting Registration
Operate Uninsured Motor Vehicle
Furthermore, Morrison is charged with Possession of Ammunition while Prohibited.
Both McConnell and Morrison were taken before a Justice for a bail hearing.
McConnell was remanded into custody and his matters are scheduled to be heard in the Strathmore Court of Justice on Tuesday, November 7.
Morrison was released from custody on a $2,500 Promise to Pay Release Order with multiple conditions. She is scheduled to appear in the Drumheller Court of Justice on Friday, November 24.
Drumheller RCMP and partners continue to investigate this matter and additional charges are pending.
If you have any information regarding these matters, please contact Drumheller RCMP at 403.823.7590 or contact your local Police Service. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.


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