News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3253
Last updateWed, 14 Feb 2024 9am

Yemen declares mayoral candidacy, Shoff looks for third term



    More candidates are lining up to run for Drumheller Town Council including Councillor Terry Yemen who has decided to run for mayor.
    The Drumheller Mail reported in its April 14 edition that Tom Armstrong and Bob Hannah have decided to run for council. Hannah was with Yemen and Councillor Sharel Shoff on Thursday morning  as they declared their intention of running in the fall election.
    “Over the last few years, I saw what I believed was too much of the tail wagging the dog,” Yemen said. “ I do believe I can bring in accountability and transparency. What I do believe is needed is a common sense approach in the decision making for the community.”
    Yemen will be concluding his first full term on council this fall, after being elected in a by-election in January 2007. He said what swayed him to run for mayor was the urging for people stopping him on the street asking him to run.
    He bases much of his platform on his previous voting record which includes voting against the implementation of parallel parking, and against borrowing $6 million for the community facility after the response at a town hall meeting was to cap the borrowing at $5.2 million.
    Yemen would also like the town look for more ways to reduce costs and has not supported tax increases this term.
    Shoff will be running in her third election this fall. She has served on a number of boards and committees related to the operation of town services.
    Her key issues include councillors being more open to the public and she feels residents should exercise their ability to communicate with councillors more freely. She also believes the town should be run like a large business and have checks and balances in place like any other business to run efficiently. She feels strongly about working harder to remediate brownsfield sites.
    “We have a lot of land in Drumheller that is good land, prime commercial land we could develop into businesses,” said Shoff.  She also wants to make sure decisions for the Town of Drumheller are made for the whole town.
    “When I say Drumheller, I am talking about the whole valley. I think some people forget we are talking about Rosedale, Nacmine and East Coulee,” said Shoff. “There are unique problems in looking after the whole area.”
    The candidates decided to announce their intention at this relatively early date to allow them the maximum time to consult with constituents.
    “I think I know what some of the issues are right now but I am sure there are a lot more issues,” said Yemen. “With the new people coming on stream this will give them a chance to find out what the issues are, and for Sharel and I (as serving councillors) there may be some issues that we will be able to take care of in the next couple of months. It is just an opportunity to get out and hear what the people have to say, rather than just trying to cram it into one month.”

Winter storm sweeps valley, causing widespread power outages



    Just as people were getting ready to enjoy spring due to the long warm spell experienced in March and beginning of April, last week the area  saw a wind storm, which created chaos on the highways in the region, and now a winter storm swept the valley.
    On Tuesday evening, April 13, Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning for the region, predicting 5 to 10 centimetres of snow with winds gusting to 70 km/h. By Wednesday morning, the storm was in full force, with snow and wind generating blizzard conditions in some areas, making driving treacherous, causing power outages and downed telephone lines.
    Many schools in the region had to close for the day, and ATCO Electric engineers were again busy dealing with power outages across the area.  The Drumheller Emergency Services were also called out to deal with a transformer fire just north of Drumheller.
    Gerhard Schwarz, customer services supervisor at ATCO Electric, told inSide Drumheller the biggest problem for them during a winter storm is the heavy wet snow and the high wind.
    “The wet snow piles up on the wires, and then the winds come, causing the wires to flap together and the fuses to blow, which they are designed to do. Then we are continually chasing it around, repairing the fuse and then the next one will go, so the engineers go from one to another to another. It started last night, right now, [Wednesday afternoon], we are experiencing some issues in the Rowley rural area as well as some in the wintering hills. The blinking of lights experienced is due to a combination of the wires connecting and the other reason is we have turned some systems off to repair some of the broken wires. When they are turned back on, you will experience the blinks.”
    Schwarz also said there was one mainline break in East Coulee on Wednesday which they were working on. The treacherous road conditions also affected the speed at which the power outages could be resolved.
    “We keep everybody safe, customers and staff. Our customers are pretty understanding, especially when they can see what is going on out there with the weather.”
    Al Kendrick, director of Infrastructure for the Town of Drumheller told inSide
Drumheller “We were a lot luckier than others, we didn’t  have any major upsets of any kind yesterday [Wednesday], I don’t think we had it as bad as everybody else to the south or east of us.”
    ATCO Electric told inSide Drumheller they were still working on power outages in the north west region of the valley on Thursday morning, due to accessibility issues.

ATCO crew still working to restore power



While most of the Drumheller area power outages have been resolved, ATCO Electric is still working on restoring power in the southern area of Hanna such as Pollockville and Wardlock. 
    Gerhard Schwarz, ATCO Electric customer service supervisor, told The Mail that there is still a lot of cleaning up work to be done but most of the emergency and customer critical items, such as residential and farm customers, have been completed in the Drumheller area.
    The ATCO staff is now concentrating on restoring power in the south of Hanna area, where a large crew and equipment are working hard at restoring power.
    “It was the hardest hit area for us, we lost a lot of poles and wires and, as we are getting things repaired, more problems are showing up so the power is unfortunately still out in parts of that area and we are working at getting things repaired today. We have just about all available crew and equipment there, we have almost 50 people down there working and a lot of the equipment.”
    Mr. Schwarz is anticipating having power restored there before sunset today.
    “Accessibility is causing a problem,” explained Schwarz “because of the wet snow, the terrain is quite muddy, making it hard to get the equipment where it is needed.”
    What was unusual about this winter storm was the mix of heavy snow and high winds.
    “We don’t usually get both at the same time at this time of year. It’s a bit of an unusual combination and it caused lots of wires to break. We are getting a pretty good handle on at this stage.  Fortunately, we have a lot of experienced staff around here so we have a bit of an advantage.”


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