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Last updateTue, 02 Mar 2021 2pm

MLA Nathan Cooper visits Rockyford Council

nathan cooper

The Village of Rockyford council was pleased to have MLA for Olds-Didsbury- Three Hills and Speaker of the Legislature, Nathan Cooper appear at their Council Meeting.
At the Wednesday, February 10, Rockyford Council Meeting, MLA Cooper appeared as delegation via video conferencing.
“Nathan, about once a year attends our council meetings and gives us an update on what is happening in the province, and we talk about constituency conversations and local issues. I am a big proponent of connections with our MLA’s and MP’s, and I feel it is an obligation to be in contact with the local municipal elected official because we are the boots on the ground of what is happening locally,” said Rockyford Mayor Darcy Burke.
He said the discussion centred around the pandemic and how it has impacted local business and non-profit groups and the inability to have social functions.
“We recognize the province has helped out financially, and the federal government has too. We certainly approve that the government has moved forward with the reopening plan based on hospitalization rates. At least there is something now in black and white for Albertans to look at,” said Burke.
Another topic discussed was the takeover of 911 dispatch by AHS.
“A few years ago, our dispatch was transitioned to AHS, and there are issues. Some of those flags being raised are very similar things we experienced, and it is still ongoing, but it is getting better,” he said. “At the end of the day, AHS dispatch will never be able to perform their job as efficiently as the local dispatch centres can.”
Burke said the savings ffrom this change were negligible.
”I said to Nathan, in a provincial budget, $5 million? This is not big money. At the end of the day, you need to ensure lives mean more than a document that involves words of a study.”
Burke says he welcomes the visit by Cooper, and the level of engagement he brings to the local councils.


Town seeks input for downtown revitalization plan

Downtown 2021

The town of Drumheller is moving forward with Downtown Revitalization Plan (DARP) and has a survey to seek residents’ input on what this vision could look like.
CAO Darryl Drohomerski explains they began this exercise in 2019 spurred along by a grant from the province.
“This was one of the outcomes from the TIBRE (Tourisms Industry Business Retention and Expansion) exercise. The province gave Drumheller a grant to hire someone to do a downtown redevelopment plan. They have been working 14 months on this,” he said.
After delays because of COVID, they are wrapping the study up by going to the public.
“We are now coming to the public to say, ‘here are some of the things we have looked at, and we want your feedback. What do you want to see in downtown,’” said Drohomerski.

They understand this is a long-term project.
“We recognize this redevelopment plan is going to take 10 -15 years to do,” he said, adding there are many forces at play, including the availability of property as well as funding.
The town recently learned it has been successful in a grant application to develop a plaza in downtown Drumheller.
“That is one of the things identified early on was to formalize the plaza. Is the plaza in the right spot now? It was never intended to be the final resting place for the plaza. So we have a grant to do a more permanent establishment, and that will be 2021 work,” he said.
Drohomerski notes there are other pieces that can be completed, such as enhancement to the street furniture, sidewalk patios, more foliage, vents, and creating gathering places.
Drohomerski says developing a vibrant downtown is important for a community. He says healthy downtowns include gathering places, with interesting independent shops and services that fill a need and not necessarily the big box stores.
“When I look at our downtown, it has that same ability and already transitioning to that. We have a couple of coffee shops, some nice restaurants, and retail locations,” he said.
To fill out the survey, go to https://downtown.drumheller.ca/


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