Town councillors on Monday decided against making a decision on the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce’s request to move into the Municipal Government Building (MGB), pending further discussions.
The Chamber is currently situated inside the Town’s Visitor Information Centre, and recently requested office space inside the MGB.
But some councillors questioned the logistics and implications of having the Town and Chamber housed in the same building, and felt the move could be accompanied by some unintended consequences.
Coun. Jas Payne said some confusion already exists regarding the Town and Chamber existing as a single entity. Housing them together, he felt, could add to that confusion.
Coun. Dale Plante said it was key that council maintained its positive stewardship of the MGB, but also felt it necessary that council support the Chamber wherever possible.
Administration proposed a fee of $650 a month for the office space, with a grant contribution of $450 also recommended in support of the Chamber and its activities.
Plante felt that agreement would be “too linked for my comfort level.”
“I’m just not sure that the separation is clean enough,” he said. “I support it, but not in this format.”
Payne said he was also in support of seeing the Chamber relocated, but felt uncomfortable with the “inflated rental rate and the grant attached to it.”
Mayor Sean McIntyre said he was in full support of what the Chamber does, and said he wants to see continued co-operation between the Town and the Chamber. He suggested “getting creative” to solve the problem of the proposed tenancy.
“This is a decision that needs to be made,” he said. Regarding the proposal, he added: “I’m not sure this is the exact solution they’re (the Chamber) is looking for.
“I feel like there’s more work to be done in trying to find a solution.”
Councillors voted unanimously to revisit the issue at their first regular meeting in January.
After-hours Chamber access to the MGB was one of the concerns to be discussed before then.
“I want to make sure we do this properly, that’s all,” said Plante.