At Monday night’s regular meeting of Town Council, mayor and councillors deliberated on the requests from the Quiet Enjoyment Initiative (QEI).
At the Jan. 8 meeting, Lyle Kent represented the initiative and spoke to Council about its importance while asking for a show of support.
This show of support from Council was asked to be done in four different ways: a $2,000 grant, a resolution of support, a staff position to provide support to the QEI and council or Staff representation on the QEI Committee.
Ultimately, Council chose to deny the requests of the QEI.
“The QEI is a working committee of the Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society and the SLWSS should be the organization to consider budgeting annually for the operations and projects of the QEI Committee,” said Ron Lebsack, director of Community Services.
It was Council’s opinion the SLWSS could add the QEI to their budget proposals to Town.
“There are also other grant options available,” Mayor Sean McIntyre added. “We offer grants each year for non-for-profits. They could apply to that.”
As such, the request for a funding grant was not carried by mayor and council.
According to Lebsack, a resolution in support has the potential to dampen tourism. This is because a resolution supporting the QEI’s mission could be viewed as “discouraging tourism.”
“As we are a leading recreational lake and tourism destination in Alberta, some degree of noise is expected to accompany lake usage and the tourist industry,” Lebsack said.
Looking into the potential issue, administration found out it does not receive a “substantial number” of noise complaints from both residents and visitors.
On average, three noise complaints are received each year about noise, and those generally are directed to the RCMP rather than the Town.
The Town also only provides a staff position in partnerships where the Town of Sylvan Lake takes a lead role. Knowing this, a staff position for the QEI was not accepted.
Administration also advised against providing a council or staff presence on the committee. Lebsack says it wouldn’t be appropriate in this instance.
“As the Town is not receiving a substantial number of complaints from Town residents or visitors it does not seem appropriate to appoint a Council representative to a working committee from another organization,” Lebsack said.
Coun. Megan Hanson Chernoff said Council’s decision lines up with what neighbouring municipalities are doing.
“It seems like we aren’t an outlier on this, our neighbours had a similar motion,” Hanson said.
Council chose to accept the report as information and deny funding by not carrying a motion to give the grant to the QEI.