Mayor encourages crowd to embrace change

Sylvan Lake is a growing, vibrant community, full of opportunity, and also, as in any municipality where status quo is not a constant

Mayor Susan Samson

Mayor Susan Samson

Sylvan Lake is a growing, vibrant community, full of opportunity, and also, as in any municipality where status quo is not a constant, full of unforeseen changes and challenges.

“It often begs the question, is the glass half empty or is the glass half full?” said Mayor Susan Samson in her speech at the Mermaid Ball, held Oct. 26 at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre. ”I would be naive if I thought the current pace of change has not dearly affected some of our businesses more seriously than others. Change is hard and sometimes it comes with losses. Seeing Cobb’s Grocery close its doors and hearing that the lighthouse is gone were sad times for many of us and we know the changes will keep on coming.”

Embracing change and managing and balancing the new reality of Sylvan Lake is a challenge for town council and the chamber, she said.

The mayor went on to emphasize that the glass in Sylvan Lake is, indeed, half full.

Looking ahead, the mayor sees Sylvan Lake as full of opportunity and positive change.

She is excited about the possibility that the new Cobbs Block offers.

“There has already been expressions of interest to move to the downtown location, including some from existing local businesses.”

Plans for a new multiplex including an arena, seniors centre, running track, children’s play areas and meeting room are now in the works.

She noted the Marina Development valued at $16 million which includes a fully redeveloped marina, public boat launch, public access walking trails and a 155 unit condo project is part of the vision to intensify and increase the density of people in the downtown.

Memorial Trail is now paved and open to traffic from Main Street to Hwy20.

The gravel road on the western portion of the trail is to be open to travel in November and paved in the spring.

Samson said building permits have skyrocketed this year to $43.1 million, far surpassing last year’s total of $26 million at this time.

“The numbers tell the story,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of president Ken Sumner, past president Carlo Simonot said promoting and contributing to the commercial, industrial, agricultural and civic progress of the town is the chamber’s motto.

“As we all live here and play here, and spend our lives together, we must not forget to celebrate what we have done with each other, and those around us.”

CORRECTION BY STEVE DILLS, SYLVAN LAKE NEWS

The front page story in last week’s Sylvan Lake News quoted Mayor Susan Samson as stating the marina development is a 155 unit condo project.

Her statement was incorrect. The proposal is for 55 units.

A development permit was approved in May for the first phase which includes a 40 unit four storey building with parkade located underneath. The second phase will include the additional units.

Municipal Planning Commission members approved subdivisions for the marina land at their Sept. 17 meeting.

They created four parcels including a bareland condominium parcel for the marina which was further divided into 174 boat slip parcels and one common property in the form of a floating walkway providing access to each of the individual boat slips.

The second parcel is proposed as multi-phased and mixed-use condominium buildings. Lot 3 is planned as a bare lot used for access and parking, while Lot 4 is dedicated as a municipal reserve parcel.