News | DrumhellerMail - Page #14
Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Golden Hills flags Greentree School replacement as priority

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Golden Hills School Division has identified a replacement for Greentree School as one of its priorities.
At its March 26 board meeting, Golden Hills trustees discussed capital planning.
Per guidelines from Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure, there is a mandate that boards must submit their annual capital planning priorities by April 1.
According to the recommendations, “Capital planning considers the following needs: leases, modular classrooms, modernizations, new schools, and replacement (new) schools. Alberta Education evaluates all requests according to factors such as utilization rates, facility condition, and enrollment patterns in order to establish the Provincial priorities that are eligible for funding approval.”
The board approved the requests for the replacement of Westmount School in Strathmore, Greentree School in Drumheller and Dr. Elliott School in Linden.
It does note on March 1, as part of last year’s budget announcement, Westmount School was approved for funding for planning.
The board also discussed the 2024-2025 provincial budget, which was tabled on February 29.
For the education budget, which Minister of Education Demetrios Nicolaides provided an overview of, there are three areas for investment including enrollment, inflation/ affordability and the education mandate, which includes mental health, learning loss and school infrastructure.
Overall there was a 4.4 percent increase in total education funding. The reserve cap was also changed to six percent.
For Golden Hills this will allow the division to plan long term and provide timely resources for students.
“Once we receive the Funding Manual and our school divisions profile, we will have a better understanding, the specifics of the funding are essential for our budgeting strategies,” noted the presentation.

Wheatland begins review of electoral boundaries

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At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2024, council members were presented with a Request for Clarity regarding the Electoral Boundary Bylaw.

On the Request for Clarity it states that “the main basis of the divisional boundary adjustment is to equally disburse the population among county councillors.” Making sure that Wheatland County’s ever growing population is guaranteed fair representation for all its residents.

At the previous Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, council members were presented with four possible options for the proposed electoral boundary adjustments for review. Each option shows new boundaries for the political divisions mapped out.

It has been 23 years, since 2001, since the last major change to the divisional boundaries took place. With the new election in 2025, the Bylaw needs to be put in place by Tuesday, December 31, 2024, as per section 151 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), which states a Bylaw under sections 143, 148 and 150, must be passed by December 31 of the year before the next general election. Section 148 of the MGA discusses the divisions of wards, which any adjustments to would not take effect until the next election is held.

“Upon reviewing the Bylaw and taking a look at the resident count, and the number of residents per division, we realize that due to growth on the west side of the county that there has been a bit of a shift per division,” states Wheatland County’s CAO Brian Henderson. “The proposed adjustment wouldn’t be so contentious because it would remain seven to seven (amount of divisions) so there would be no shrinking of divisions.”

First reading of the Electoral Boundary Bylaw will have to happen and then council will host an open-house for public engagement.

Property owner appeals Carbon stop order

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On Tuesday, February 20, the Village of Carbon’s acting Chief Administrative Officer and Development Officer Tera Little issued a Stop Order to two businesses because a house was moved to a parcel of land without a Development Permit.

The owner of the house Crispen Sibanda, whose land is registered to his business Chris Maison Renovations, and the company McCann’s Building Movers LTD that moved it on Thursday, February 15, were both issued the orders, after the Village received reports the dwelling was transported to #1 Diamond Valley in Carbon. The home was placed partially on Municipal Land and in too close of proximity of a fire hydrant.

The Lands known as Plan 1011734, Block 15, Lot 1, is zoned for R-1, meaning “Single Dwelling Residential District” according to Land Use Bylaw 2018-804. The home in question is classified as “Dwelling-Moved On” meaning that, according to the Bylaw, it is “a single detached dwelling that has previously been lived in used as a residence or other purpose in a previous location and is proposed to be relocated to a new parcel for use as a dwelling.”

“Let me emphasize that prior to the house being brought to the Village I went through all the proper channels of this, inquiring about the whole process of making these changes to our project,” states Sibanda in an email to the Village of Carbon’s council members. “I did also mention the sensitive timeline to any of the parties involved in said inquiry. I understand that decisions do take time to be made but let me assure you that had we been given an answer within a certain timeline, we would not be having this conversation. My last inquiry was in January 2024. At that time I was told I would get information on what the next steps would be.”

Sibanda also states in the email the house, which he saved and intends to have his family reside in, was salvageable and fit for use. He had multiple inspections conducted on it, and that it has the potential to be a heritage home. He also plans to remodel the dwelling.

“I am aware that the present state of the house is unfavourable. However, we have the intention of gutting it out and implementing changes. We are willing to work with the Village and follow due process.”

“It is the position of the Development Authority that the Order should be upheld, without modification, given that the structure was placed on the Lands without authorization. This is a clear and direct contravention of the Land Use Bylaw. The structure should be removed from the Lands, from adjacent property and from within the Village boundaries,” it states in the Stop Order issued by Little.

An appeal of the order was made to the Regional Subdivision and Appeal Board where a hearing was held over Zoom on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

There were several people in attendance and those involved believed that it was a fair hearing.

A lawyer is set to start drafting the decision which will have to be reviewed by the board.

The written decision should be completed and issued within the next couple of weeks and will be posted to the Parkland Community Planning Services website.


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