During their regular meeting Sept. 23, Sylvan Lake councillors:
• unanimously approved a demolition permit for the former Sylvan Lake Resort and Conference Centre sales office on 49th Street. The building has been empty since about 2005. Information provided to council stated the intended use of the property is for additional public parking.
• passed second and third reading of a bylaw so that separate water meters are required for garage and secondary suites. This means the primary dwelling and the suites would each receive utility bills for water, sewer and garbage charges and would also receive separate garbage receptacles under the plan for automated garbage collection being instituted later this year.
The bylaw amendments are not retroactive to existing suites.
• unanimously proclaimed Fire Prevention Week at October 6-12. The theme this year is ‘prevent kitchen fires’. The proclamation “calls upon the citizens of Sylvan Lake to participate in fire prevention activities at home, work and school. We also call upon all public information agencies to actively participate in a coordinated effort to provide effective fire prevention programs, which will instill in the minds of each citizen, those fire safety practices which will reduce the loss of life and property damage caused by fire”.
• reviewed changes to the town’s procedures bylaw and unanimously passed third reading of the document.
Councillor Laverne Asselstine stated his opinion that the committee of the whole meeting has gone from an informal meeting of councillors to discuss issues to a more formal process. “It appears to be just another council meeting. Committee of the Whole has now lost its direction.” His understanding of the meetings was to be more a discussion among councillors and more explanation from staff. Asselstine also pointed out all council members are required to be there so why not just call it a council meeting.
Betty Osmond, the town’s chief administrative officer said there are requirements under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) regarding committee of the whole meetings. “It isn’t an informal meeting in the true sense of the MGA.
The requirement for all councillors to sit on Committee of the Whole is in the MGA, she stated. However, if all councillors can’t make the meeting it can still proceed.
Mayor Susan Samson said, “the beauty of Committee of the Whole is if we don’t have topics we don’t have a meeting”.
Councillors also unanimously passed the town policies and procedures policy “to ensure a standardized system of developing, recording, approving and distributing policies and procedures”.