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Last updateSat, 21 Sep 2019 3pm

Town turns on tap to fountain

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            The fountain was turned on Wednesday, September 18, after a season where the town has decided it would only run on a limited basis. On July 8 council announced it would begin the process of looking at a replacement water fixture for the area.
Before moving onto the next phase as discussed earlier this summer, staff took a look at the fountain to see if there was a way of it being used rather than removed. We have been able to modify the fountain to operate solely as a water feature at this time.
“As the fountain is running, we feel it is important to take the time over the fall and winter to liaise with groups such as the Rotary Club of Drumheller, who have made important contributions to the area,” said Dave Brett, Director of Infrastructure Services for the Town of Drumheller.
“Over late fall we will talk with the public and service groups on how they wish to use the area in the future. We will be determining if it should be kept solely as a fountain with some landscaping or to look at other options, including the costs involved with those options,” added Julia Fielding Communications Officer.


Kneehill County celebrates 75 years

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    Pictures, lots of pictures, from Kneehill County’s 75th Anniversary event will show Kneehill County Councillors flagged by Minister Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs, along with Nathan Cooper, MLA Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills. They joined with past Councillors of Kneehill County, the Mayors, and Administrators of surrounding municipalities, and Reeves and Administrators of surrounding Counties.     
    The Three Hills Curling Rink was filled with displays of historical images which told the story of growth in the County, along with the historical beginnings of the various municipalities.   
    Also on display were the photos of the contest winners.  Reeve Wittstock made presentations to the winners.   In first place was Rachel Brown - Spring Sunset Farm Silhouette.  In second was Tyson Yost - Milky Way and in third was Cheryl Pask - Approaching Storm.   There were nine other Honorable Mentions that captured the beauty of the county. These photos sum up what it has been to live and grow in Kneehill - the weather (intimidating and beautiful), the agriculture, geography, the prosperity that came with the rail line, and the wildlife.  
    Nathan Cooper, MLA and Speaker of the House in Parliament, even noted in his speech this was God’s Country, and in the telling of a cute joke, it only costs a mere quarter to talk to God, (as it would therefore be a local call).  Mr. Cooper also noted the hard work of all the communities, their good neighbour policy and dedication, and the winning traits and values that have continued to get passed down throughout the years.  “Here’s to another 75 years of strength and prosperity for Kneehill County.”   
    Minister Madu addressed the audience, noting his upbringing in rural Nigeria.
 “I have great affection for rural communities such as in Kneehill and great respect for the responsibility undertaken by its Reeve and Mayors and Councils for their dedication to their communities.  It’s been three-quarters of a century calling this place home, a remarkable achievement on what it takes to be an Albertan and to build such an incredible province.”  
    He spoke about strong local governments finding ways to work together and be effective in the best use of tax dollars.           “We work together to reduce duplications and to decide when to support projects and when to get out of the way.”  He ended with a compliment for both Alberta and the County, deeming it still the best place to work and raise a family.  
    In putting the past 75 years to rest, and new beginnings, Reeve Wittstock unveiled the new logo, which received 75% of the votes.  
    “We couldn’t be more pleased with our resident’s choice. This logo perfectly represents the Kneehill County of today, combining traditional origins with new, modern elements,” said Wittstock. “The outline of the County is more accurately represented, and the colours of our logo tell the story of our summers—blue sky, green grass, and the abundant, vibrant fields and crops found throughout the countryside.”  
    On display were commemorative plaques and pictures gifted to Kneehill County from Rockyview County, Red Deer County, Wheatland County, Lacombe County, and a clock (Stettler County).    
     Guests attending the event received a commemorative booklet on Kneehill County’s past 75 years including the historical beginnings from MD of Kneehill #48.

 

 Courtesy Debi Moon, Three Hills Capital

Council approves pay increase

20171030 Council Organizational Meeting TJH 0113

    Drumheller town council have given themselves a raise to compensate for federal tax changes this year which saw their take home pay reduced.

    Council approved an updated remuneration and expense allowance policy which will see their annual salary increase by $2,000 for the mayor and about $1,000 for councillors. The recommended changes came from an independent committee appointed by council last summer, headed by chair Denise Lines, who presented the committee’s report late last year ahead of the tax changes which occurred January 1, 2019. The changes from Bill-C44 eliminated a tax break on one third of Canadian elected officials' pay, previously allocated for tax-free general expenses. 

    “We’ve been keeping an eye on what municipalities across the country have been doing to address this issue and council has reviewed the draft policy on a couple occasions as we’ve gone back and forth amending it,” said corporate services director Barb Miller at the September 16 meeting.

    Administration completed their evaluation of the report this summer and made the recommendation to adopt the policy as it was presented

    Miller said the benefits of the policy “ensures fair and equitable remuneration” and will help attract qualified candidates in future elections. Miller said councillors often miss work or take time to meet with constituents and the remuneration reflects the importance of council’s position. 

    “I think it’s fair when we ask for a committee of people from the community to evaluate what remuneration should be given to councillors -- I think that's about as fair a process as you can get,“ said councillor Tom Zariski.

    The recommendations also included a two-day reduction in the number of per diem days mayor and council could claim annually, down to 7 per councillor and 10 for the mayor. 

    Previously, councilor pay cost the town $20,930.25 annually and $39,947.70 for the mayor. The new rate has now increased to $21,976.76 for councillors and $41,945.09 for the mayor.


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