Mayor Colberg, CAO Drohomerski lobby province for additional funding

·2 min read

The Town of Drumheller is lobbying the provincial government for additional funding due to escalating costs for projects, including flood mitigation.

Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski met with Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon, Agriculture and Forestry Minister and Associate Minister of Rural Economic Development Nate Horner, and Minister of Transportation Rajan Sawhney on Wednesday, May 25 to request additional funding and provide an update on the flood mitigation project.

“We’re asking for funding to make sure we can finish the current berms part of the original grant request (Midland, Newcastle, Willow Estates, and Grove Plaza), and new berms to protect additional communities,” Mayor Colberg told the Mail.

Drumheller council voted during the May 9 regular council meeting to cancel the tender for the Downtown Dike Phase 1 project after receiving two bids which both came in well over the budgeted amount of $1.4 million for this portion of the project.

CAO Drohomerski added funding approvals were based on 2015 to 2016 costs, with some inflation considered. However, the COVID-19 pandemic presented an unprecedented economic pressure that has seen costs for everything from materials to fuel escalate, and which could not be conceptualized at the time the funding was approved.

Another factor that has increased construction costs for the project was the designed flow rate being increased by the province from 1,640 cubic meters per second (cm/s) to 1,850 cm/s.

This has contributed to the original conceptual berm designs needing to be adjusted to accommodate the additional flow, with freeboard, and to provide protection to additional areas which would otherwise be left without protection based on the new flow rates.

Mayor Colberg says berm sizes are currently being reevaluated to reduce the top width and freeboard amounts to help further extend currently available funding.

She adds a request for decision will be brought before council during the regular Monday, June 6 council meeting.

Along with the request for additional funding for the flood mitigation project, Mayor Colberg and CAO Drohomerski also discussed funding support for the Drumheller Municipal Airport lighting project, which also saw tender bids come in well over budget, improvements to the Hoodoo parking lot, and land negotiation resolutions to complete work to repair the Starmine suspension bridge.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail

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