New fire hall, lagoon upgrades key projects for 2013

Sylvan Lake councillors have set aside more than $11 million for capital projects next year

Sylvan Lake councillors have set aside more than $11 million for capital projects next year, following budget discussions spread over Oct. 30 and 31, and Nov. 3.

Most prominent among them is the construction of a new fire hall, at a cost of $3.8 million.

Another major project involves a section of 47A Avenue that will be resurfaced, and new curb, gutter, and sidewalk built, at a cost of $1 million.

A number of projects are planned to improve utility services. For $2.2 million, the capacity of the main trunk line for the waste water lagoon will be increased, which receives waste from part of the town.

Other utility capital projects include relocation of the RV septic dump station at a cost of $300,000, with two main options proposed. The first, along Jarvis Bay Drive just north of Lakeshore Drive and 33rd Street, offers adequate stacking room, easy access, and nearby water and sewer facilities, but no street lighting.

“Is that really what we want to do, have light industrial up against residential? We’ll get it in the ear for that,” said Mayor Susan Samson.

Councillor Sean McIntyre suggested planting trees in the area to shield residents from the new development.

The second location, near the waste water lagoon off Sylvaire Close, offers easy access, nearby water and sewer facilities, and adequate lighting, but limited stacking room.

Both locations have a proposed fee for use. No decision has yet been made about the relocation, as the project will be funded from reserves.

The waste water lagoon has excessive ammonia levels, so $530,000 has been earmarked to upgrade its ammonia treatment facilities.

A new one-ton garbage truck will be purchased for the town’s parks, to increase garbage collection service to three times a day along Lakeshore Drive and Centennial Park. The truck will cost $45,000. Ron Lebsack, director of leisure and protective services, said park workers have found lots of food-related garbage on the beach during the day.

“I think that’s just the nature of a tourist town,” said Samson.

Councillors removed a proposal to install traffic lights at the corner of 47th Avenue and Herder Drive from next year’s capital projects, amid concerns that the new lights would slow traffic flow along 47th Avenue, a much-used route.

“Let’s trash it,” said Councillor Rick Grimson.

Councillor Dale Plante suggested deferring the project for a year, and looking at how the opening of Memorial Trail affects traffic patterns