Friends gather around a fire pit for warmth. (File Photo)

Fire pits coming to Sylvan Lake Park

Council approved two permanent fire pits be added to the park for use in the winter months

The Town of Sylvan Lake will have permanent fire pits on the lakeshore, after Council approved the motion Monday night.

At a previous meeting Councillor Megan Chernoff Hanson asked if it was possible to look into having permanent fire pits without the screens.

She asked if it was possible because the current small portable fire pits the Town uses make it difficult for families to use all at once.

Town administration looked into the request and spoke with the fire department, the parks department and municipal enforcement department as to whether or not this could be a possibility in Sylvan Lake.

While there were positive and negatives, the biggest drawback would be the use in the summertime.

“People want to use fire pits once the sun goes down, and in the summer that isn’t until quite late,” explained Ron Lebsack, director of community services. “This would draw unwanted use of our parks late into the night, after a time they are generally considered to be closed.”

However, administration believed having a permanent fire pit in Sylvan Lake Park would be beneficial in the winter, when the days are shorter.

Lebsack says using fire pits in the winter months would decrease the concern of “after hours holliganism.”

Coun. Hanson was happy to hear the alternative.

“I think having fire pits in the winter [in the winter months] is a great idea. It would also lead itself to the Winter Village,” Hanson said.

Council directed administration to have two wood-burning fire pits designed, which will be located in Sylvan Lake Park, in the area where the Winter Village is.

Administration believed having the fire pits in Lakefront Park would be unadvisable as there is low foot traffic there in the winter and it would be costly to maintain a separate location.

“If we concentrate on efforts on the pier location, we think it would also increase traffic to the area in the winter,” said Lebsack.

The pits will be outfitted with a mesh screen which will be locked into place over night, so unauthorized use will not occur.

Because these fire pits will not be in use in the summer, administration came up with an alternative use. During the tourist season the fire pits will be converted to a hot coal disposal site.

“These will be a sort of covered container,” said Lebsack. “The idea is you won’t actually have to see the coals once dumped inside.”

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