The Town of Sylvan Lake is hoping its recently adopted Investment Attraction Strategy will help attract business to town.
Created by town staff, external stakeholders and a business recruitment team, the strategy will help balance the residential/ non-residential tax split.
“Right now, our current assessment for residential is 85 per cent of our budget, and 15 per cent is non residential,” said economic development officer Vicki Kurz. “We are working towards becoming a more complete community.”
A split of about 70/30 is being aimed for, she added. That, she said, will be achieved through various projects associated with the strategy’s various objectives.
“There are different projects under each of those objectives,” she said. “For example, we are working towards developing an investment attraction policy (allowing) administration, under council’s direction, to identify projects of local significance, so if there’s a large employer that’s looking at relocating here and starting up their business here, we will sit down and meet with them as a team, and try and expedite their development permits and applications.”
Expediting the development approval process is a priority, Kurz added. Currently, it lasts about 40 days on average.
“We have a goal of cutting that back substantially, if possible, over the course of the next few years,” she said.
A YouTube video has also been created to showcase the town’s business viability. It can be viewed on the Town’s website at www.sylvanlake.ca, and is just one of many ways the Town is hoping to attract business to Sylvan Lake in the future.
“There are lots of different reasons that people relocate their businesses in communities — labour force, cost of living and things like that, but we do have a higher quality of life to offer,” said Kurz. “Typically, that is not necessarily one of the top investment factors, but in Sylvan Lake, it tends to be higher to the top.”