Town of Drumheller will move forward with expropriation of a small portion of two parcels of land in the Newcastle area after accepting the Certificate of Approval and Resolutions presented at the regular Monday, February 6 council meeting.

 Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) project manager Deighen Blakely presented the request and noted these pieces of land along Riverside Avenue West are required by the DRFMO in order to proceed with construction of the Newcastle berm.

 “Ideally we are able to come to agreement with landowners outside of the expropriation process,” Ms. Blakely tells the Mail, “but this is a tool that we will be using, in this case, in the Newcastle berm area.”

 DRFMO made attempts to negotiate with the landowners to purchase the two portions of land, but all offers were rejected.

 Drumheller council approved a notice of intent to expropriate in September 2022 which began the expropriation process for the two partial parcels. One partial parcel acquisition is for a total of approximately 19 square metres, or roughly 205 square feet, while the other partial acquisition is for an approximate 39 square metres, or 420 square feet.

 Ms. Blakely explains, once the notice of intent was approved, it then had to go to the land titles office for registration where there was a delay of a couple months before notice of registration was received in December. With council approving the Certificate of Approval and Resolution, expropriation will now move forward to the next step and will once again need to be registered with land titles. However, there are still several steps before the expropriation process is complete and the land is acquired or the landowners receive payment.

 All costs associated with land acquisitions, including legal fees, are eligible for funding through the provincial portion of the flood mitigation funding, totalling some $20 million. 

 As of September 2022, a total of $4.5 million had been spent to purchase 16 of the 27 properties identified for acquisition by DRFMO.

By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 15, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   The Drumheller Mail   Drumheller, Alberta

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