News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2
Last updateThu, 23 Sep 2021 5pm

New flood mitigation director hired

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Effective September 27, 2021, Mayor and Council have directed administration to appoint Deighen Blakely, P.Eng, of Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd, as the new Flood Project Director.
Blakely is a Senior Water Resources Engineer and Project Manager with Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. (KWL) and holds a master’s degree specializing in Open Channel Hydraulics. With more than 20 years of engineering experience in various roles for the Province, the City of Calgary and various engineering consulting firms, she has a strong understanding of projects from both the owner and consultant side.
Deighen has a strong interest in flood mitigation. During her time with the City of Calgary, she led the River Engineering Team to deliver on the City of Calgary’s key flood mitigation goals including improvements to the flood emergency response systems, updates to land use policies and structural mitigation projects. She has also worked collaboratively on flood mapping and upstream reservoir projects with the Province, during her time with the City.
Blakely has been involved in the current Drumheller Flood Resiliency program since the fall of 2019 and has recently led the design of six dike projects in Drumheller. Deighen will transition from the dike design projects in the coming weeks into the Project Director role, working closely with the Interim Project Director, Mark Steffler and the Town of Drumheller’s CAO, Darryl Drohomerski.
To meet Ms. Blakely and the other members of the Flood Office team, please attend the upcoming virtual town hall events by registering at

Local businesses put COVID-19 Restrictions Exemption Program into effect

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With the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions, local businesses and facilities are pivoting once again.
Last week the province announced new measures to curb overwhelming Alberta’s Health Care System. This includes measures in workplaces, indoor private gatherings, places of worship, schools, and children’s activities, as well as mandatory masking and physical distancing in all indoor public spaces.
These were followed by restrictions at retail, weddings and funerals, recreation facilities, sports, and fitness.
The government also introduced a Restrictions Exemption Program. As of Monday, September 20, vaccine-eligible individuals will be required to provide government-issued proof of immunization or a negative, privately paid, COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours to access a variety of participating social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province.
Alberta residents can download a proof of vaccination card to verify they have received their shots.
For the Town of Drumheller, it released its plans for its recreation facilities, which will operate with capacity and operating restrictions.
Drumheller’s recreation department will continue to welcome all members of the community safely by enhancing cleaning, physical distancing measures, one-third capacity limits, and encouraging users to stay home if unwell.
“At this time, we can better manage capacity restrictions and increased cleanliness than assessing users’ medical information by activating the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP),” said Darren Goldthorpe, Manager of Recreation Arts & Culture. “Our facilities have always been an inclusive space where all citizens and visitors feel welcome, and have the opportunity to increase their quality of life in our community facility.”
Members and visitors of the facility must complete a COVID-19 assessment before attending any municipal recreation facility, and must not enter if presenting any symptoms.
Local businesses are falling in line with the new measure many opting to participate in the Restrictions Exemption Program. Restaurants, including WHIFS Flapjack House and Athens Restaurant, have posted they would be using the restrictions exemption program.
Dave Misra owner of Yavis Family Restaurant explains they will be participating in the exemption programs using the proof of vaccination program.
“If we don’t open and have to close, that won’t make any sense. They are giving us a chance to see the response from the people,” he said.
Misra says there are some who are okay with the program while others are resistant.
“A lot of people are saying it’s okay, mostly the senior people are okay with it, the youngsters are not, so it is a mixed reaction,” said Misra.
“It is a precarious situation where you don’t know what to do and what not to do.”

Funding approved for arena upgrades, female changeroom

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At the Regular Council Meeting on Monday, September 20, Mayor and Council approved Town Administration’s request for additional funding to address two challenges in the Drumheller Memorial Arena. The friendly amendment to the initial motion included a total of $210,000 to be allocated to an additional change room for female participants, as well as skate-safe flooring in the lobby. 

“We worked with Drumheller Minor Hockey Association back in 2019 to develop a concept and cost estimate for the construction of a dedicated change room for female participants,” begins Dave Brett, Director of Infrastructure Services. “This concept was used to apply for grant funding through the Co-op Community Spaces Fund but was, unfortunately, unsuccessful.” 

Administration requested an additional $20,000 from operations surplus to invest in conceptual engineering and construction estimate, $40,000 from operations surplus for the rental of a changeroom with washroom amenities for immediate use, and $150,000 from reserves for the construction of the project for a total of $210,000. The vote for approval was unanimous among Mayor and Council. 

“The goal will be to retrofit additional space for a female changeroom onto the 50-year-old building,” continues Brett. “We will lose some parking at the north-east side of the arena; however, this is such a great and needed addition to our facility and our community. We recognize and appreciate the public support on this project, and are happy to have received more support from Mayor and Council than we initially requested.” 

Administration will continue to work with user groups to hopefully acquire grant-funding in the next year, and have the work completed no later than the start of the 2023/2024 season. 


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