Council Notes From the regular meeting of Town Council
Monday, October 3, 2016
Linda Traquair, spokesperson for the 55 Plus Senior Games, provided Council with an update on the Games that took place over the weekend of September 30 to October 2. She gave a thank you to all who volunteered and the businesses that donated to the Game’s success. Ms. Traquair said that the games were a success despite the rain on Saturday and very beneficial for the Town of Drumheller. In preparation for the games over $14,000 was sourced back to the community by way of the signage and props needed for the Games. All local sources were used and a lot of money was funnelled back into the community. “I didn’t speak to a single person who wasn’t happy with their time in Drumheller and that is a bit unusual to have no complaints,” Traquair said.
CAO Ray Romanetz presented a proposal brought to the Council by ATCO Electric to renew the lease agreement with the town that expires on October 31, 2016. This lease is for the land situated by the Rotary Park and allows them to utilize an access road through the park to carry out their work when needed.
Mr. Romanetz brought forth a request from the Golf Course for the town to provide In-Kind assistance with tearing down a building on its property. The council agreed to this request. Councillor Tom Zariski supported the proposal stating that the golf course is non profit business that provides jobs, entertainment, and brings people in to spend money in the community. The golf course does not have water or sewer services from the town and has been around for close to 60 years. Councillor Jay Garbutt requested an estimate of the cost to complete the removal and challenged the idea of it being considered a non profit business if it is owned by shareholders. Zariski explained that the shares are non-equity shares which result in no profit for the shareholders. Any profit that is made is turned around to pay ongoing costs. Mr. Romanetz said that the estimate is substantial and Zariski said that it would be between $20,000 and $25,000. Councillor Garbutt asked, “In comparison to other organizations the town has helped, how does this compare?”. “Most organizations make smaller requests but the golf course hasn’t made a request in over 20 years.” Zariski said, “So although this is a big request they haven’t required help in a long time.” Zariski clarified that the town would be responsible for the tear down of the building, labour, and equipment.
Director of Infrastructure Services Darryl Drohomerski updated council on the Aquaplex modernization project. Drohomerski said that he would have a report of costs and a timeline to present at the next Town Council meeting.
••••• Director of Corporate Services Barbara Miller
proposed that an amendment of the compensation and expense allowance be made to better reflect the needs of Council so that they can govern effectively. The Council agreed that the policy should remove the cap of 5 days for councillors and 10 days for the Mayor when mandatory meetings and training goes over this allotted time.
Ms. Miller also proposed that as a part of the tax recovery process under the Municipal Government Act that properties with a tax caveat registered against them must be available for the public to place a bid on the properties. The value of the properties are to be assessed based on a mass appraisal approach and these costs would be passed on to the property owners. Council set the assessed value as the reserve bid price for properties for the January 27, 2017 tax recovery auction. Last year there were five to seven properties auctioned at the tax recovery auction and from the 2016 year there are 22 properties going into this auction.
Ms. Miller provided an update on the 2016 Strategic Initiative of creating a new organization, “Friends of Drumheller Society” to further recreation and culture needs within the community. The strategy is to form an organization that would operate and financially support capital needs through fundraising in the most effective way. Director of Corporate Services Barbara Miller, and councillors Tara McMillan, and Tom Zariski volunteered to be a part of the core group in the “Friends of Drumheller Society.” They will be three of the five core volunteers needed for the society to become a success. This society will help Drumheller fundraise more successfully to fill financial needs for projects.
Councillor Jay Garbutt updated Council that the Drumheller Housing Administration has put in an application for a grant for an additional housing development. The provincial government announced that changes have been made through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the province that look positive to be able to secure more affordable housing in Drumheller.