The publicly contested water bylaw passed unanimously at the recent Council meeting and will go into effect right away.
Before the motion for the third reading of the bylaw was passed, Council held a public hearing to hear from all those opposed and for the bylaw.
Those present at the meeting were reminded to be respectful and brief in their statements to council.
Given the chance to speak, no one stepped forward either for or against the bylaw.
Mayor Sean McIntyre reminded Council the public was given ample warning about the hearing as well as time to give feedback on the proposed bylaw.
“We began addressing this in November. It was a topic we knew we had to tackle and the time has come,” he said to council.
Now that the public hearing has officially closed no written or verbal submissions about the bylaw will be accepted by the town administration or Council.
The new bylaw will see an increase to the water flat rate, wastewater late rate and the wastewater collection rate.
The water consumption rate will see no increase in 2018 and will remain at the same rate as set in 2016.
The bylaw passed with the water flat rate increased $3 per month, the wastewater increased $2 a month and the wastewater collection rate increase $1.30 per metre cubed.
This comes to a total increase of roughly $28.40 for the average property in Sylvan Lake.
Mayor McIntyre said he has met with many citizens on a one-on-one basis to speak about the bylaw and why it was happening.
“As I explain the infrastructure deficit that we face and the changes necessary from the lagoons to the mechanical treatment at the City of Red Deer there is a level of understanding that is developing in the community,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre continued by saying he appreciated the people of Sylvan Lake who took the time to ask questions to better understand the situation.
“It’s never a great reason or a welcome situation, but we understand that its a warranted one and we need to do what is responsible to deal with our water and wastewater, and that is what the bylaw covers.”
With the passing of the bylaw the changes are now in effect and will be reflected on the next utility bill issued.
The Town is moving to a monthly utility bill system, which should be up and running early this year.