Town to look at project funding alternatives

The Town of Sylvan Lake will look at alternative options for funding two major projects after being denied grant funding.

The Town of Sylvan Lake will look at alternative options for funding two major projects after being denied grant funding.

The Town learned recently that applications for funding toward a new municipal water reservoir and redevelopment on Lakeshore Drive — to the tune of $5.8 million and $1.4 million, respectively — were turned down.

The grants were being sought through the Small Communities Fund (SCF). The province, in a letter addressed to Town CAO Betty Osmond, and subsequently presented to council, didn’t disclose the details as to why the funding was turned down, instead only noting the large volume of applications received.

“The program received a significant number of applications for grant funding, which could not all be accommodated within the program funding levels established by the federal government and matched by the province,” wrote Brad Pickering, Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Dave Brand, director of public works for the Town of Sylvan Lake, said news of the denial was disappointing, but — with alternative funding options available — not a cause for panic.

“We have to consider the fact that there are lots of other municipalities in the province that are seeking funding too, so we certainly don’t want to hang our hat on the grant funding, (but) it’s always nice to get it,” he said.

Administration will eventually recommend alternative funding options to council, he added. A combination of sources, including borrowing, could be considered.