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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Alberta Utilities Commission presents changes to Kneehill County

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The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) was asked by Kneehill County’s Administration to attend the Tuesday, April 13, Committee of the Whole Meeting and give a presentation to council members to share knowledge about the processes of renewable energy projects, their environmental impacts or setbacks, and what residents can do if they are against the projects.
“Our mandate is to make decisions on utility applications that are in the public interest. Public interest can be viewed differently between applications. In some instances, environment, social or economic, each of them have their own unique issues or considerations that the commission (AUC) weighs and reviews differently,” states Richard Golberger on behalf of the AUC at the meeting.
The AUC conducts regulatory reviews in a fair process and ensures reliable service at reasonable rates. They regulate investor and municipality owned utility providers and ensure energy facilities are built, operated and decommissioned in an environmentally safe manner. They also provide information about the electricity and gas markets in Alberta.
In August, 2023, the AUC was inquired by the government to look into a number of issues and gather information about how renewable energy projects affect land use and the impacts they have on the electrical grid.
Some changes that have occurred are that municipalities now have the right to participate in the hearings, developers are now responsible for reclamation costs to the government or landowners and renewable energy projects are no longer permitted to be constructed on Class 1 or Class 2 Lands unless it is proven that crops and livestock can coexist with the developments.
One main concern the Council had focused on was shadow flickering, a phenomenon where the sun shines through the moving blades of wind turbines, creating a shadow that moves. It is a nuisance to nearby communities and homeowners because the shadows flash across buildings and homes.
“What are the ongoing projects at the AUC that study the long term effects of these renewable projects on the public, animal, human, soil and water?” inquired Division 5 Councillor Laura Cunningham. “One of the main concerns I have had from the people that live in my division, where there is a huge project coming up, is the shadow flickering.”
“We have had an unbelievable amount of shadow flicker information put before us over the course of multiple years,” replied Kim McNab, who presented alongside Goldberger on behalf of the AUC. “ Generally speaking, I am not aware of any decisions that current science suggests are the impacts around shadow flickering. I think a lot of it depends on the characterizations of the specific project.”
What the AUC suggests the public does if they have concerns or objections around renewable energy projects happening in their communities is to join their process.
“We would encourage them to join our process once an application is filed,” replied McNab. “ Even before that, the proponent of that project should be consulting with the people. Making their concerns known right up front is very helpful,” says McNab.


2024 Celebration of Excellence Award Finalists Announced

Chamber of Commerce

The Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce and Travel Drumheller are pleased to announce their award finalists for the 2024 Celebration of Excellence. The awards will be presented on Thursday, June 13 at the Badlands Community Facility. The evening will celebrate individuals, organizations and businesses for their achievements and contributions to the community.
Finalists for the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards are:
• Business Professional of the Year: Dr. Ivan Chan, Keri Looijen, Greg Manca
• Community Builder: Drumheller & District Humane Society, Drumheller Community Learning Society, Napier Theatre
• Employer of Choice: Harper’s Tire, Hi-Way 9 Express Ltd, Riverside Value Drug Mart
• Most Promising New Business: Bubba T’s Bus Tours, Heller Good Sandwiches, JJ Deliveries
• Small Business of the Year: Badlands Photography, Napier Theatre, Riverside Medical Clinic
• Large Business of the Year: Badlands Amphitheatre, Reality Bytes Inc., Riverside Value Drug Mart
Finalists for the Travel Drumheller Tourism Excellence awards are:
• Hospitality Ambassador: BJ Janzen, Jody Sunstrum, Deanne Zariski
• Tourism Business of the Year: Bikes & Bites, Rosebud Theatre & School of the Arts, The Sunny Spot
Tickets to the Celebration of Excellence are $45 each and are on sale now until June 6th at 12pm. Tickets are only available online at www.drumhellercelebrationofexcellence.com. All members of the community are invited to attend this special evening of recognition and celebration.

RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of motorcycles sharing the road

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Drumheller RCMP is reminding drivers to be more present as motorcycle riding season begins.
This comes after two collisions involving motorcycles in just one week.
“Drumheller RCMP have responded to 2 motorcycle collisions during the week of April 22,” said Staff Sergeant Robert Harms. “While those collisions are still under investigation, it is important to note that Drumheller and the area see a high number of motorcycles on the roadways from spring to fall. It is important that all motorists and motorcycle riders be alert, be aware of their surroundings, and operate in a safe manner at all times.”
One such collision occurred at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23. Emergency services from Drumheller, including the Fire Department, EMS, and the RCMP responded to reports of an injury collision involving an SUV and a motorcycle at the intersection of Highway 575 and 13th Street SW in Drumheller.
On arrival, emergency crews found a black 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle with significant collision damage lying on its side in the intersection. Also found was a 2015 grey Ford Escape with significant collision damage to the front.
The rider of the motorcycle, a 63-year-old male from Drumheller, was transported by EMS to Drumheller Health Centre with serious but non-life threatening injuries; he was later transported to Calgary Foothills Hospital for further assessment and treatment. The driver of the Ford Escape was not injured.
The RCMP continues to investigate this matter. Speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors in this collision.
The RCMP recommends the following for motorists when sharing the roads:
• Lookout for motorcycles at or near intersections and when making turns;
• Make sure your blind spots are clear when changing lanes;
• Give and ensure adequate space to motorcycles; and
• Avoid occupying another vehicle’s blind spots when travelling.
If you are a motorcyclist, remember the following when riding:
• Wear a properly fitting helmet as well as a protective jacket, pants, gloves, and boots;
• Don’t ride distracted; stay alert at all times;
• Always drive to conditions and posted speed limits;
• Do not ride in the blind spot(s) of other motorists and give sufficient space;
• Do not lane split; and
• Be mindful of sand, gravel, and debris on roadways from winter time.


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