News | DrumhellerMail - Page #8
Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2023 10am

The Salvation Army sets $60,000 Kettle goal

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The annual Salvation Army Kettle Kick Off was held at Freson Bros. on Friday, November 17. This year, The Salvation Army has set a goal to raise $60,000 from the kettle campaign, which will run until just before Christmas; in 2022 some $55,000 was raised. Kettles and mini kettles will be located throughout the Drumheller Valley, and a cashless option where donors can tap their phone, debit, or credit cards is also available and will rotate between three locations at Walmart, Extra Foods, and Freson Bros. All funds collected through the campaign, as well as the letter campaign, will remain local. Volunteers are still needed to fill some shifts, and anyone interested can contact The Salvation Army at 403-823-2215 for more information. At the kick off were (l-r) Cody Johnston, Salvation Army Major Robert Burrell, Salvation Army Community and Family Services and Anti-Violence coordinator Amanda Courtenay, kettle volunteer Heather Dyck, Fred Orosz, and Major Laura Burrell.

Drumheller 2024 Capital draft budget outlines $10.71 million in projects

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Drumheller Town council were presented with the preliminary 2024 Capital budget and 10-year Capital plan during the Tuesday, November 14 Committee of the Whole meeting.

The draft budget proposes a total of 43 projects which total $10.71 million, and also includes an estimated $7 million in projects previously approved by council in 2023 which are anticipated to be carried forward in the new year. It is anticipated about $1 million of this will be funded through provincial and federal capital grants.

Corporate and Community Services director Victoria Chan explained the Town of Drumheller has currently accumulated some $29.5 million in its municipal reserves as of the end of 2022 through “responsible spending and consistent contributions to reserves.”

While Ms. Chan noted the entirety of proposed Capital projects could be supported through a draw from the municipal reserve, it was recommended to cap the Capital requests at $5 million, which will be funded through a combination of general taxation revenue and draws from reserve. It is projected this could increase the municipal tax rate by about three per cent.

Among the proposed 2024 Capital projects include several Downtown Area Revitalization Plan (DARP) projects to beautify and connect the downtown core. This includes a $200,000 connector road between Highway 56/South Railway Avenue and Railway Avenue East via 2 Street East and 6 Avenue near Freson Bros., a $100,000 beautification to update Centre Street between 3 Avenue to Railway Avenue which includes upgrades to the intersection and sidewalks, landscaping, furnishings and third-party utilities in the area, and construction of a $210,000 Main Station as part of the CN Rails to Trails project and could be completed in conjunction with the new connector road.

Proposed projects also include improvements to the Badlands Community Facility to install sound acoustics in the field house to allow for expanded event usage, estimated at $90,000; $600,000 for the proposed 2024 Street Improvement Program which will see multiple roadways throughout the North Midland and Greentree neighbourhoods resurfaced, as well as $100,000 for engineering and design work for the 2025 Street Improvement Program; and replacement of fuel tanks at the Drumheller Municipal Airport to increase storage capacity and mitigate potential leaks and other environmental hazards as the existing tanks reach end of operating life, estimated at $430,356 which includes materials and supplies, engineering, and contracted services.

It is expected the 2024 Capital budget will be brought back for council consideration and adoption later in the year.

Kneehill County begins budget process

Kneehill County Council

Kneehill County has begun its budgetary process and is anticipating to have its 2024 Operating and Capital budgets fully adopted by December.
Council members were presented with the start of the 2024 budget approval process by Corporate Services director Kinza Barney and Financial Planning coordinator Marika Von Mirbach during the Tuesday, October 17 Committee of the Whole meeting.
“Preparing for the 2024 budget discussions and deliberations with council has been a significant workload by a number of individuals across this organization,” shared Ms. Barney during the presentation, noting this has not just been limited to the Finance department.
The 2024 budget will be presented to council in a series of meetings, beginning with the Setting the Stage and New Projects presentation at the October 17 meeting and the initial Reserve Strategy discussion at the October 24 council meeting. This will be followed by the Core Operating Budget on November 14, a question and information requisition session on November 28, and an anticipated budget adoption date on December 12.
Ms. Barney noted the county was recently notified from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) it had once again been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the third year in a row.
In order to be considered for and receive this award, Kneehill County was required to meet several nationally recognized guidelines, such as meeting “criteria as a policy document…financial plan…operations guide, and as a communications device” according to the GFOA website. Ms. Barney noted the county has scored higher on some of these criteria than it has in previous years.


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