The New Year offers us an opportunity to look back on the year previous, celebrating our achievements, and setting new goals for 2018; and every year, Sylvan Lake Town Council does just that. This week, Sean McIntyre shared some 2017 highlights – describing the year as “productive and positive”.
“2017 got off to a promising start with the Provincial Government announcing $2 million towards funding Advanced Ambulatory Care services at the existing Community Health Centre. Notwithstanding the change in name, Sylvan Lake and area residents will have access to increased health services – the very services that we, as a community, have laboured for together. We look forward to the opening of Advanced Ambulatory Care in 2018.
The Provincial Government also announced $37 million towards a Regional Wastewater Pipeline to run from Sylvan Lake and area to the City of Red Deer. The wastewater infrastructure issue continues to be one our community’s greatest challenges; however, we now have funding to assist in the long-term solution we need.
In the spring, we celebrated the opening of the NexSource Centre. This landmark facility made possible by community partnerships, has proved itself early on as a community hub – a place for the community to come together. It’s amazing to see the recreation, culture, and art programs taking place together with special events that we previously could not host, due to lack of place.
Then summer in Sylvan Lake set in, and what a summer it was! Canada Day celebrations were bigger than ever in recognition of the country’s 150th birthday, and people came out in droves to watch “Jaws” on the lake, which became its own online sensation, with people around the province talking about the event’s unique draw to our town.
In 2017, Council approved and launched a new capital grant program called the “Community Spirit Grant”. Registered non-profits and charities, and Town of Sylvan Lake – based community groups without status applied for a wide range of capital projects, and in October, Council awarded five local groups with grants that support recreational and cultural activities within the community.
We also launched a lot of online services in 2017, including a new award winning municipal website, an Instagram account, and a Business and Investment Tool-kit. The Tool-kit helps existing and potential new businesses access information about the local economy and business environment, and is available at sylvanlake.ca/invest
We ended 2017 on a high note as well with the inaugural lighting of the Winter Village along the pier, downtown. What a sight! Thank you to the business community for their efforts initiating the light display and the beautiful Christmas planters; I think I can speak on the behalf of the entire community when I say I look forward to next year’s display and growth!
A final highlight is welcoming in a new Council with the 2017 Municipal Election. It’s been a very busy schedule since the election, and I am so happy to be working with and serving alongside Councillors Payne, Parsons, Hanson, Mearns, Rilling, and Kloss.
As we look forward in 2018, we are eagerly anticipating the opening of Sylvan Lake and Area Ambulatory Care. Thank you to each and every person who has contributed to this much-needed upgrade in access to non-emergency medical services by volunteering your time, raising awareness and funds for medical equipment. The focus of the 2018 budget is core infrastructure and sustainability, with a new water reservoir and pump station planned for this year, as well as water and wastewater main replacements.
We’re also looking forward to engaging the community for the Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan, which will include visioning for the downtown and the future of Lakefront Park, the former waterslide site. We’re also looking forward to the “roll out” of new recycle carts this year! With many more projects and initiatives on the way, I recommend people keep an eye on SylvanLake.ca for details and updates.
On a personal note, I want to thank all of those who reach out to lend a hand to your neighbours, and all those who purpose to help those around them when help is needed. I am constantly witnessing the good of our community, the strength of our nature, and the great things we can achieve when we work together. Sylvan Lakers have great heart, and I look forward to realizing all we can accomplish together in 2018 and beyond.”