News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3321
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Building permit values up again


    In Drumheller, 2009 was a record year for values of building permits, as it edged out 2008’s yearly totals by close to $1 million.
    2009 was a year for growth, and while the total number of building permits was down by about 30, the overall total value was up over $25 million. A large part of that was spurred on by institutional growth.
    In 2009, six institutional building permits were taken out for a total value of $15,400,538. The bulk of this was for the renovation and modernization of Drumheller Composite High School. That permit alone was worth more than $14 million.
    Another growth area for the town was in industrial permits. The value went from just over $800,000 in 2008 to $3,692,584. A large portion of this was municipal work at the Drumheller Water Treatment Plant.
    While other sectors remained strong, they did take a slight dip when compared with the previous year. This year there were 12 commercial permits taken out with a value of over $1.5 million, down more than $1 million over the previous year. The renovation to make way for the new Shoppers Drug Mart was one of the main drivers of this number, with a value of about $1 million.
    There were 78 residential building permits taken out with a value of $4.5 million, down from just over $7 million in 2008. This was the lowest number of permits taken out since 2004.
    Recreational building permit values also took a small jump, with the sole permit issued to the Dinosaur Golf and Country Club with a value of $106,000 for its new storage building.

Pharmacies worry about future of industry


    Despite negotiating a better than planed deal with the Alberta Government, pharmacists are still facing an uphill battle to make sure they are viable in the future.
    The changes to the way pharmacists meet their bottom line has taken its toll already as the Hanna Value Drug Mart announced last week it would be closing its doors.   
    In a letter to the Hanna Herald, owner Barb Knauft, who has owned the business since 1991, informed the community she would be closing shop.
    “After many stressful weeks, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to close Hanna Value Drug Mart. Our final day of business will be March 31, 2010," reads the letter. “(I) can’t thank our customers, staff, family and friends  who have supported us throughout this entire time enough.  I have strived to serve the community with fairness, integrity and professionalism.”
    Paul Ainscough, owner of Riverside Value Drug Mart was surprised by the announcement made by Knauft.
    “Any store that closes is a shock. The way the times are, the government is making promises, but they never really come across with what they are promising,” said Ainscough, who owned the Hanna store before Knauft. “It’s tough to go to the banker with promises.”
    He says in Ontario and British Columbia, there have been completed studies on how much it costs to dispense a prescription, and it is between $13.50 and $14. In Alberta, the government is currently paying $10.93. While the government is planning to up the amount to $13.93 this April, this may be only a patch.   
    “The only problem is in a year they are going to drop it by $2, and a year later they are going to drop it by $1.  After three years, you are back to  $10.93. The first or second year might be alright, after that, unless things change, there are going to be a lot of problems,” said Ainscough.
    Last week it was announced the government would reduce the cost of generic drugs from 75 per cent of the name brand to 56 per cent. This was off their target of 45 per cent. Ainscough says the discounts help, but they are not as reliable to count on.
    “My personal opinion is we’d be better off without rebates.  It would be better if we stuck with the $3 (dispensing fee) and not drop it,” said Ainscough. “The first thing they will do with rebates is start dropping them.”
    He explains the idea of rebates came in the early 1990’s when the government began slashing health care.  The drug companies decided to help the pharmacies by offering rebates.
    “They, (the government), came out and dropped the rebates to 56 per cent, but in six months from now they could drop it in half again,” said Ainscough. “(It would be better) …if they raised your fee by $3 and kept it that way.”

$25,000 and a challenge



The Pliva family has made a commitment of $25,000 over the next five years for the construction of the Badlands Community Facility. Tony Pliva says the family’s goal is to motivate others and issue a challenge to businesses and peers to step up to the plate. “In the end, everybody is going to use it,” says Tony. “I can use it  and my kids and grandkids will be able to use it.” Jeff Hall, chair of the fundraising committee, says the donation is fantastic and it is a great step in getting the ball rolling.  Shown above (l-r) Kim, Tony and Shaun Pliva with Jeff Hall.
 To learn more about how to give to the project,
contact Jeff Hall at 403-823-7800.


The Drumheller Mail encourages commenting on our stories but due to our harassment policy we must remove any comments that are offensive, or don’t meet the guidelines of our commenting policy.