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10202020Tue
Last updateSat, 17 Oct 2020 8pm

Drumheller Fire Department responds to structure fire

DFD Structure Fire

An investigation is continuing into a fire at an abandoned farmstead. The Drumheller Fire Department responded early Friday morning, October 2, at about 12:45 to a rural property north of the Little Church. The old farmhouse was completely engulfed. The farmstead was built by James Russell, who originally homesteaded in the Nacmine area about a year before the arrival of Thomas Greentree and Samuel Drumheller. Shortly after Alberta became a province, the Russells moved into the home north of the Little Church. Fire Chief Bruce wades tells the Mail, the fire is being investigated as an arson.


Archaeological finds at Starland gravel pit halts production

Morton Pit North 5 Areas

Construction of the new Morton Gravel Pit, located south of Delia in Starland County, is on hold due to a number of archaeological finds uncovered in the area.
The approval process for the gravel pit began in the summer of 2019 and, following proper procedures, a Historical Resources Impact Assessment was conducted by Stantec Consulting in May 2020.
“Original estimate of $31,000 to do the assessment, but after two days of investigations it was determined that there were heavy concentrations of artifacts in five areas over the 40 acre parcel that needed more time to land form the findings,” said Ken Menage, public works supervisor for Starland County.
Following the discovery, Starland County faced additional costs of $25,000 due to the change in the scope of work.
“On September 8, 2020 we received our final Historical Resources Impact Assessment report along with recommendations to do more work next year with extra costs broke down to certain areas and scope of work,” Menage added.
Areas 2 and 3 have been completed, and work to complete the remaining three sites is estimated to cost Starland County approximately $225,000.
It has been recommended Starland County proceed with work on Area 5--which is estimated will cost $30,000--as it has the lowest cost and contains the most gravel.
Area 1 is estimated at $105,000, and Area 4 at $90,000.
Menage told the Mail, “All recommendations for more work will be reviewed and approved by the ACMSW (Alberta Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women).”
Starland County is currently waiting for approval from the ministry and Menage estimates work “likely will not proceed until the spring of 2021.”

Big Valley waits for repairs to bridge

BigValley VillageOffice

Repairs to the North Entrance Bridge in Big Valley was one of the topics of discussion during the village’s regular council meeting on Thursday, September 24.
County of Stettler and the village are working together to advocate to Alberta Transportation, who own the bridge, to complete the much needed repairs.
“The County of Stettler has currently contacted Alberta Transportation to advocate on behalf of the county and the Village of Big Valley that this bridge be repaired as soon as possible,” said Sandra Schell, Chief Administrative Officer for Big Valley.
Although the bridge is owned by Alberta Transportation, the County of Stettler has been in charge of inspections. During one of these routine inspections it was discovered there was deterioration of the bridge structure.
In December 2019 weight restrictions and a 10 tonne load advisory were placed on the bridge.
Discussion was brought up during a County of Stettler council meeting earlier this year, in March, and reports outlining the condition of the bridge were sent to Alberta Transportation for review. However, as there is another entrance to the village available, Alberta Transportation has deemed repairs a “low priority” and have recommended the county or the Village of Big Valley to apply for the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) in November.
“This is an estimated million dollar project,” Schell told the Mail.
If approved, the grant would cover 75 per cent of the cost to repair or replace the bridge, leaving either the county or village to come up with the other $250,000.
The County of Stettler is completing applications and updating inspection reports for the STIP grant funding. Big Valley council unanimously approved supporting this application.


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Calgary is considering reducing the speed limit on residential roads to 40km/h. Should Drumheller do the same?