NETAGO strengthening connection for Starland, Delia residences

Written by Terri Huxley

Delia council agreed to allow local internet provider NETAGO the opportunity to place a tower within the village to strengthen a link at their Jan. 12 regular council meeting.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tracy Breese assured council the tower will be more of a power pole in terms of height and structure at 30-foot wooden power pole versus a large scale tower for signal.

With approval, the company will now put this pole behind the village office.

The company is also building a new tower in the Hand Hills to upgrade their internet services to residents in Starland County.

“Our current tower has a backhaul link into Hanna, however, we would like to change this backhaul to connect to our fibre head end in Delia,” said Terry Ducherer, President of Netago.

Reports not up to snuff

Mayor David Sisley was not impressed with the amount of information given for reports from both Public Works Foreman Ed Pedersen as well as Delia Fire Chief Dallas Stevens.

“I don’t think this is good enough as a report,” said Sisley referring to the public works report at a paragraph in length. 

“Obviously he has done other things he does on a week-to-week basis. This is not cutting it.”

Council did commend him on snow removal, saying it has been some of the best work he has done in some areas.

As for the fire department, council asked to have Stevens in for a face-to-face meeting to discuss what is happening.

CAO agreed to call him to see about attending the next meeting in February.

“I would still like to see what is going on – even if it was just grinch related,” said Dep. Mayor Jordan Elliott.

During the holiday season, two firefighters drove ‘the grinch’ around the village to lift spirits one afternoon.

They also hoped to glean some information on equipment if it was up to date as well as any calls that have taken place.

Sidewalk drainage letter

Heide Peterson sent in a letter of concern regarding a sidewalk drainage between 201 and 230 Main Street in front of commercial properties.

Peterson does not own either of these properties but asked the village to address the ongoing problem of ice build up and improper drainage taking place.

Public Works Foreman Pedersen investigated saying that this was the only property that was having this issue and the same replacement plates are outside the village office, the Community Centre and ATB.

He and the CAO had no recommendations at this time as Pedersen said they would have to look in the spring once the drain is more accessible.

Council had reservations about the situation as the drain was tampered with which caused the problem to start in the first place.

“Prior to this change of drainage platers there was a swell and large steel cover on top which was removable and therefore able to be cleaned out,” said Peterson in her letter to council.

“For reasons unknown, these have been removed and changed. The replacement plates do not work! 

“The small half-pipe attached to the plate is totally plugged and the drain at the curb is plugged with silt dirt and weeds and now the curb drain and gutter is blocked by a block of ice.”

Council voted to leave the drain for now and to look into the situation further once the spring comes to allow for better access to the location.

They also agreed to send a letter to Ms. Peterson of their plan to look into it in the future.

Casual office hours

Dave Smyers was hired late last year to help keep village operations running while CAO Breese took some time to learn a new financial program.

He has no official hours at this point but rather comes in on an ‘as-needed’ basis.

The CAO pointed out that public works has backup in case their main foreman gets sick or goes on vacation but there was no one for administration.

She also noted that there have been a few complaints about the office building being closed more often but shared that it was only closed ‘because it was an absolute necessity.’

Council agreed they would keep this in mind when budget conversations begin but were unsure a long term position was necessary at this time.

They requested the CAO advertise ahead of time if she plans on closing the office to join meetings virtually and other business.

Leaving SAEWA

After some discussion, council has chosen to leave the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA).

SAEWA is a non-profit collaborative membership representing 60 southern Alberta municipalities and stakeholders with the goal to reduce Alberta’s environmental footprint through the offset of greenhouse gas credits.

An email sent by Drumheller Executive Director of Operations Tammi Nygaard explained the recent change in payment for a SAEWA membership, saying that the Drumheller and District Solid Waste Management Association (DDSWMA) will no longer be paying for their member’s membership and that each community will individually decide if they wish to stay or not.

Membership costs 53 cents per capita.

Mayor Sisley shared that ‘it makes no sense’ to send their garbage to a newly proposed plant near Brooks for renewable energy as their truck could not handle that trip.

The plant would take garbage provided by SAEWA members and then convert that into energy with the rest of the by-product to be recycled.

He felt sticking with the existing Drumheller landfill was more appropriate for the village which council members agreed.

“[The Drumheller Landfill] is large enough to last 75 years,” said Sisley.

Drumheller and Starland County have also backed out of their SAEWA membership.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.