Drumheller town councilors were busy during the last week of September as they all attended the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) annual conference in Red Deer.

It was the 8th such conference for third term councilor Jay Garbutt, who feels the networking alone is worth more than the cost of attending.

"There's over 300 municipalities in Alberta and when we get together to look at ideas and see that we're all coping with very similar challenges, it's just important for us to not re-invent the wheel if somebody has found a better way to solve the problem," he told Drum FM.

"We're all just people trying to solve problems with limited resources," he continued. "When you're face to face doing that and everybody can acknowledge that everyone is earnestly doing their best with what they've got to work with, it just is a much more professional and yet a little more friendly environment, I think, than if it's (just) an email exhange."

In addition to the networking, conference goers took in a number of presentations by government ministers and administrative staff, and even got some one-on-one time with government members.

"We had a 25 minute meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and reviewed a number of local priorities with him, then we also had a chance to sit down with Alberta Transportation," Garbutt outlined. "We have a number of highways that run throughout the valley and so, we work closely with them to talk about when they're going to come up for resurfacing (and) when we're going to be able to see the enhanced crosswalks that we've been promised."

Next year's AUMA conference will be held September 25-27 in Edmonton.

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