Council approved the second and third reading of the Parental Leave for Councillors by-law during the Feb. 26 meeting. File Photo

Parental leave approved for Town Councillors

Council met for its regular meeting on Feb. 26 at the NexSource Centre

Sylvan Lake’s Town Council had a busy meeting Monday night with a lot discussed.

From concessions contracts, a music festival and environmental rebates – a lot was discussed at the Feb. 26 meeting.

Parental Leave

Sylvan Lake is one of the first Councils to approve parental leave for councillors. Council approved second and third reading of the bylaw during the Feb. 26 meeting.

The bylaw states a councillor is “entitled to take parental leave prior to or after the birth or adoption of the child.”

The leave cannot exceed a total of 16 consecutive weeks.

Coun. Megan Chernoff Hanson was very please to have the bylaw pass, as she was a champion of the bylaw, and began working towards the motion in her first term.

“I think this is the first step in opening council and politics to a new group of people,” Hanson said.

Mayor Sean McIntyre agreed with Hanson, adding parental leave makes Council a more diverse entity, better able to help the citizens of Sylvan Lake.

NexSource Concession

It was previously announced the Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey would no longer be running the concession at the NexSource Centre, after the hockey season wraps at the end of March.

The Culture and Recreation Department have looked a various options and potential contracts, before ultimately deciding it would be best to keep the contract in house.

The NexSource Centre staff will take up the daily running of the concession after the hockey season ends.

Town administration has decided the staff has enough experience running and managing a variety of concession, and can manage the DNA Plumbing concession as well.

“We looked at a variety of different options,” said Coun. Graham Parsons. “It made the most sense to take it on ourselves.”

Along with the day-to-day running of the concession, staff will also look at offering catering services for events held at the NexSource Centre.

Council approved a total of $17,650 be used from the Recreation Administration Operating Reserve for the start-up costs of the concession.

Music Festival

Council agreed to enter a partnership with Troubadour Event Management to produce the Centerfield Music Festival.

Previously, Council approved the special event application for the one-day festival to be held on June 30.

The agreement was conditional subject to terms being reached on both sides.

The negotiations went well, according to a report to Council. Included in the negotiations was talk on the cost from the Town.

The initial ask from Troubadour was a “sponsorship” of $12,000 for the festival. Negotiations brought that cost down significantly to $7,100.

“We believe this will become an ongoing event for Sylvan Lake,” said Sean Durkin, adding if the event become a permanent ongoing one, the Recreation and Culture department will put it in the budget for each year.

The music festival aligns with the Town’s Tourism Festival and Event Strategy, that Durkin says will soon be completed.

Environmental Rebates

The new environmental rebate policy replaces and expands on the old water conservation program.

Sylvan Lakers can qualify for a utility credit by using a rain barrel, low-flow toilet or backyard composter in their homes.

Administration added the backyard composter to the list of possible rebates.

Utility customers can purchase a qualifying composter and apply for a 50 per cent rebate on the composter, up to $50, to be applied to their utility bill.

Last year, 99 Sylvan Lakers applied, and were approved, for the rebate on low-flow toilets.

“We anticipate that demand for the back yard composter rebate will be higher in year one, as was the demand for rebates for the other approved devices,” the report to Council states.

The rebates will be applied on a first-come first-served basis to approved applicants.

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