News | DrumhellerMail - Page #6
Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2023 10am

Drumheller council considers cap on Short Term Rentals

Town Hall

Town of Drumheller continues to work on regulations on Short Term Rentals (STRs) as part of its proposed Business License Bylaw, and during the Tuesday, November 14 Committee of the Whole meeting administration was directed to implement an annual cap on the number of STR licenses, and introduce a differential rate for principal and non-principal residences.
Council previously gave second reading of the Business License Bylaw in October of this year, and made some recommendations to Economic Development manager Reg Johnston to further investigate STR regulation in other municipalities, including how these units are taxed to align with commercial taxation, insurance requirements, and any caps on the number of licenses permitted per year.
It was proposed to implement a differential rate for STR business licenses of $245 for principal residences in which the property owner also resides, and $810 for non-principal residences, also considered investment properties. This would reflect an estimated $55,000 annually, which would help offset administrative costs.
Along with researching business licensing fees, Mr. Johnston also investigated how municipalities tax these properties. Following discussions with Wildrose Assessment and Corporate Services, it was determined other municipalities such as the Town of Canmore had implemented a new municipal tax rate for these properties which sees STRs charged 3.28 times higher than other residential properties.
A new residential subclass would allow for STRs to be taxed at a higher rate to better align with commercial tax rates. However, it was noted this would not be able to be implemented until 2025 due to information required. Another consideration into STRs was whether to limit the number of business licenses approved annually.
With the ongoing housing shortage in Drumheller, it was recommended council implement a cap of 120 STR business licenses per year; there are currently about 104 STRs operating within the Drumheller Valley.
While there were some concerns that limitation could pose some additional challenges, such as reducing competition and increasing administrative work, this could also help to alleviate strain on the local housing market. It could also help to encourage growth within certain sectors of the housing market such as secondary suites, while reducing the number of investment properties which were seen as “primary contributors” to reduced housing stock.
There were also recommendations regarding the insurance coverage required to be held on these properties by the property owner, mandating proof of liability insurance during the business licensing process, requirements to be outlined regarding guest health and safety such as an Emergency Evacuation Plan, and safety measures including fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within the property.
It is expected the Business License Bylaw will be brought back to council for third reading consideration in the new year.

Midland community receives ATCO grant

Barrier Free Ice Access

ATCO announced the recipients of our 2023 Clean Energy Community Fund, a new grant-making program that supports organizations on their energy transition journey, and the Midlandvale Community Hall is among the recipients.
Twelve Alberta schools, community groups and municipalities will receive funding to help them achieve their energy and sustainability goals, with projects that include energy audits, community charging stations, solar panel installations and LED light conversions.
“For ATCO, sustainability is more than an aspiration; it is interwoven with our strategy, our day-to-day operations, the products and services we provide, and part of our community investment endeavours,” said Melanie Bayley, President, ATCO Electric. “We are proud to be at the forefront of the energy transition, and in a position to provide financial support to organizations and municipalities who are looking at ways to decarbonize and lower GHG emissions.”
The $15,000 grant received by the Midland Vale Community Hall is to install solar panels to power Skate Shack at the new outdoor accessible skating rink.

Rosedale Rec Society wrap up busy summer

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Those driving through the community of Rosedale may have noticed some upgrades and improvements at the corner of Highway 10 and Highway 10X as members of the Rosedale Rec Society have been busy taking on a number of projects over the last several months.
While work has wrapped up on these improvements, the society is looking towards other projects to further upgrade and modernize the Community Hall kitchen and bathrooms, and update the outdoor rink surface so it can be used as a year-round facility in the future.
“Our greatest asset and hope for the future are our volunteer board members and the great community-minded group of volunteers we have in Rosedale,” says Rosedale Rec Society President Rich Rovere.
A new executive board, made up of nine volunteer members, was elected to the non-profit society in September 2022, and quickly went to work looking at ways to make the community and its facilities better.
One major change, which honours the history of the Rosedale community, was the addition of the Rosedale Station sign and logo on the Rosedale Community Hall.
Society secretary Cate Samuel explains, in years past, mail delivered to the community was always labeled under Rosedale Station; the closure of the post office and subsequent change to community mail boxes has resulted in the loss of the Rosedale Station moniker, and the new executive wanted a way to keep the history of the Rosedale community in focus and alive.

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Volunteers also helped over the summer to paint the exterior of the Community Hall, campground and camp kitchen, and a full repair and repainting of the Big John Miner Memorial statue at the corner of the highways was also completed.
Ms. Samuel notes the society has applied for the Alberta government’s Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant to help support major upgrades to the interior of the community centre, and are awaiting further communication on whether they were successful later this month.
She shares that the society “flipped a lot of burgers in 30 degree weather,” and has a number of different fundraising events and campaigns, including a Christmas Market and bake sale on Saturday, November 25, and a Wilderness Adventure Raffle, which will be drawn in April 2024.
The society has also received funding from other community grants and donations such as the Walmart Community Grant for ongoing maintenance of the rink, and the Wintering Hills Wind Farm, which will help support making the rink usable year-round for various activities ranging from a potential pop-up market location or used for sports and leisure activities such as basketball.


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