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Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

Task force to review parking options



    Town council is putting together a task force to re-examine options for parking downtown.
    This comes after a lively town council meeting, where around 25 merchants and residents attended to make their views known, represented by David Benci.
    A motion, put forward by Councillor Karen Bertamini, proposed, “That council appoints a task force to review parking options on a portion of 3rd Avenue between 2nd Street West and 1st Street East.  The task force to consist of two town councillors, two members of the Drumheller and District Chamber, two members of the downtown committee and two members of the public at large, those two members will be chosen by that task force. The task force is to report back to  council with recommendations on how they would like to move forward to the regular scheduled Committee of the Whole meeting on April 12.”
    The motion was carried unanimously.
    During his presentation, Benci, owner of Pizza 249,  highlighted the result of the survey recently conducted for Drumheller residents to express their views.
    The survey received a total of 1,687 responses, with 99.58 per cent wanting the diagonal parking to remain the same and with 96 per cent rating this issue as very important.
    Benci also explained the Chamber of Commerce had done its own survey of its 231 members, of which 115 responses were received, with 85 per cent opposed to parallel parking.
    Benci said “we agree that …there are both advantages and disadvantages to either of the two parking choices, we are firmly convinced that diagonal parking is the best choice for downtown Drumheller and that parallel parking would be a huge disaster.”
    He added, “There has never been any question as to what the majority of businesses owners of downtown Drumheller want. We have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the general public also indicate their overwhelming choice would be diagonal parking. Town council no longer should wonder what their choice is, they must represent the will of the majority, democracy must prevail.”
    Benci further expressed their expectation for council to rescind the motion MO2009.202 of November 9, 2009 and leave parking as is in downtown Drumheller.
    He concluded by asking council if they had answers to the questions put to them during the invitation only meeting organized by the Chamber of February 3. None were given.
    Councillor Bertamini then put forward the motion.
    Bertamini explained she chose the date of April 12, as a Committee of the Whole meeting is when information can come forward, following which council can direct administration to prepare requests for decision for the following regular council meeting on April 19.
    Councillor Sharel Shoff mentioned the notice of motion she had put on the agenda, “To delay the implementation of parallel parking for one year, while the town completes the offside parking sites, evaluates the effectiveness of offsite parking and facilitates communication with the citizens at large.”
    Shoff was advised this motion could be put forward after the task force presented their findings.
    The Mayor asked that the Chamber and the downtown association select their members as soon as possible.  The Town will advertise for applications from members of the public interested in being part of the task force.
    David Benci told inSide Drumheller: “Personally, I was disappointed with the meeting, the motion that was put forward wasn’t what I had proposed. I asked if they had any answers to our questions and they didn’t answer any. The primary objective is to rescind parallel parking which they did not do, as a matter of fact they postponed another motion that was going to put a moratorium on it for a year and so in my opinion it was a waste of time.”
    When asked whether he was considering being part of the task force, Benci replied, “No. I think it is a waste of time. There is no point in talking to town council... because we have talked to them for three months and we have had absolutely no answers, if we want answers we have to look them up? The onus should be on them to give us those answers not on us to dig up the answers.” 
    The downtown association will be meeting soon to discuss the way forward. Benci said they will still be involved with the task force, explaining, “It’s not the committee that I proposed, it’s a task force that they proposed so it has been taken right out of our hands.”
    Councillor Bertamini has since told inSide Drumheller that the Mayor has elected Councillors Andrew Berdahl and Blaine McDonald to be part of the task force, and said, “The Mayor has made a request that those Councillors not be the chair because he does not want the town to be viewed as leading this, but as participating in a consultative process.”

Tyrrell faces funding cuts


    The Royal Tyrrell Museum may have to tighten up its belt, like many other organizations under the Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit.
    Last week, the Alberta Government presented its budget, and while many touted it as a spending budget, the ministry that oversees the Tyrrell Museum is facing cuts.
    “Across the board we are looking at about a 15 per cent cut across our ministry,” said Tyrrell director Andrew Neuman. “How that translates into each program is kind of tricky because we haven’t had a chance to talk to our financial people and get some definite numbers, but we will certainly be seeing some cutbacks next year.”
    He says there have been reports of reduced off-season hours at some of the sites under the Ministry, but that will not be the case at the Tyrrell.
    “To the best of our knowledge we will not be reducing hours here because we actually make money in those hours. If we close, we lose money so there wouldn’t be any savings,” said Neuman.
                            He says so far the directive he has heard is that there will be no loss of jobs.
    “We’re not expecting that here, for some of our service contracts it is hard to judge,” he said. “It is really going to boil down to how we manage our programs and keep things running to the best of our ability.”
    The Tyrrell’s financial year winds up at the end of April. Until then, they will be continuing on projects that are in the works including landscaping at the entrance as well as gallery improvements and washroom improvements at the palaeo-conservatory they have already embarked upon. 
    “What we will be looking at probably is deferring some of the major projects we have been looking at, and some of the redevelopments, we will have to be put on hold for a while,” said Neuman.
    An example of some of the projects they will have to review includes the barriers at the Hoodoos, as well as continued gallery upgrades.
    “As far as actual impact on the public, we are going to try to minimize that,” he said. “It will be a few weeks before we hear more.”

Pliva challenge nets additional $75k for community facility



A challenge issued by Tony Pliva and his family has inspired some residents to generously support the community facility project.
     inSide Drumheller reported, in its February 5 edition, that Tony Pliva and family committed $25,000 to the Badlands Community Facility.  He challenged others in the community who felt strongly about the need for such a facility in the valley to also pledge. 
    This week, Drumheller businessmen Gary Chambers, Bob Sheddy and Braden Bosch have each matched the Pliva donation, bringing it up to a $100,000 total.
    Sheddy said in conversation with Pliva over lunch, he learned of Pliva’s donation and challenge.
    “Tony just said he felt it was the right thing to do. The next thing I knew, the story with the photo of Tony Pliva and his family were in the next edition of inSide Drumheller and online at,” said Sheddy.  “Every time I opened the newspaper or went online that week, I was more and more convinced I should do the same.  I admit that Tony’s $25,000 donation put my original donation value to shame, and made me reconsider how much I could give to a facility that will be in my town for the rest of my life. In those terms, $25,000 is a reasonable amount to give.”
    “Drumheller is where I live, and it is where my clients live. As my dad keeps telling me, it’s our generation’s turn,” adds Sheddy.
    He was convinced, and quickly contacted Chambers and Bosch, and they signed on immediately.
    For Chambers, he says the facility is needed for the community, and makes sense in both his personal life and professional life as a realtor.    
    “As I tour clients around Drumheller, one concern these prospective new residents often lament about is the lack of a community / recreation center.  A community center is much more than a physical structure, it is a testimonial to civic pride in a community,” he said.  “Both my wife and I … know first hand how a facility, such as the one under construction, will contribute to an enhanced quality of life amongst Drumheller’s residents.  I have played hockey in the Drumheller Arena all my life, and my wife swims and works at the Drumheller Aquaplex. We use the current facilities, but are excited by the prospect of being able to enjoy our favorite recreational pursuits in one convenient location. 
    This donation is our way of supporting active living for the residents and visitors of Drumheller.”
    While his roots aren’t as deep in the valley, Bosch recognizes the importance of recreation facilities.
    “Coming from Hanna, I can truly appreciate the benefits of having a community facility in town,” said Bosch. “For the past three years I have been planting my roots in Drumheller and am very excited about the addition of this facility to our community.”
      “In 2007, Ray Page and Ron Poole trusted me to look after their clients and take over their insurance business formerly known as Page Agencies. I believe our customers and their families deserve to live in a town with a great facility they can enjoy for years to come,” said Bosch.
     For more information, or to donate to the Badlands Community Facility, contact fundraising committee chair Jeff Hall at 403-823-7800.


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