Balancing needs of diverse, growing population will be a challenge: Grimson

Maintaining a financial balance to make things work is one of the goals of Rick Grimson as he seeks a second term

Rick Grimson

Rick Grimson

Maintaining a financial balance to make things work is one of the goals of Rick Grimson as he seeks a second term on Sylvan Lake Council.

The population is growing so fast and is diverse as far as age and demographics, “the challenge is to find a balance that meets the majority of expectations,” he said.

One of his involvements during the past term has been with regional commissions dealing with wastewater, water and garbage.

“A major consideration is we need to find an alternate source of water,” Grimson said. “We’re within 5,000 population of maxing out. The regional commission is working on that, has identified possible sources. It’s going to take further studies, research and provincial money. It could become critical if it doesn’t happen in the next eight or nine years.”

The wastewater commission has progressed with a regional line along the east side of the lake which includes a sewage disposal station at the north end and a lift station at Birchcliff. The garbage commission became less active after a deal with Plasco failed to materialize.

During his first term, Grimson said a lot of work was on completing projects initiated by the previous council. “Lakeshore Drive, — I think that turned out very well. The town office, RCMP building.

This term, “the new public works area … that was a very good decision there in purchasing that site,” he said. “We’re proceeding with a new fire hall. It’s going to tender next spring. That’s exciting and very much needed.”

Another project which is carrying over is a new multiplex. The old arena is nearing the end of its life and the new building needs to be completed, he indicated.

Then there’s ongoing updating of infrastructure. “A block or two every year has to continue.”

Planning for the long term will continue to be a challenge. “There will probably be some borrowing. Long term rates are favourable and the town’s debt situation is enviable. It won’t be a large burden on taxpayers.”

On other issues, Grimson said he doesn’t support creating a beach but he does support a water spray park “for our own citizens in community parks. Tourists, from my perspective seem to be happy with what’s there”.

Grimson has been involved in municipal administration and management his whole life. Retired now, he began in the county system and was Sylvan Lake’s chief administrative officer for 17 years before taking a position with Alberta Municipal Affairs where he served for 17 years as chief administrative officer for the province’s national parks improvement districts which included Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Wood Buffalo and Elk Island. His role there was to deliver municipal services to residents in those parks.

He holds a professional designation as a Certified Local Government Manager and is a past director of the Local Government Administration Association.