Residents and property owners have been given more time to comment on Sylvan Lake’s spending next year after councillors approved an interim measure to continue operating after January 1.
In accordance with the Municipal Government Act, councillors unanimously approved an interim operating budget of 25 per cent of the 2012 operating budget, or $6.9 million, to keep the town going until the 2013 budget is passed.
The 2013 draft budget has been advertised in the Sylvan Lake News, posted on the town’s website and will be mailed to households for residents to review and provide feedback. As well, councillors have held three ‘Coffee with Council’ sessions in December to solicit comments.
Highlights of the capital budget include $1 million for reconstruction on 47A Avenue, completion of Memorial Trail from Lakeway Boulevard to Highway 20, $2.2 million for the first phase of a utility main upgrade from 50th Street to the main lift station, $900,000 for utility main upgrade in Willow Springs, $530,000 to upgrade the wastewater lagoon, continuation of trail development ($150,000) and upgrades to Lions, Centennial and Four Seasons Parks with a combined budget of $172,000, according to the report to council by Darren Moore, director of finance.
Detailed design for a new fire hall will be completed early in the new year with construction planned to begin in the fall. The budgeted cost of construction is $3.8 million.
The operating budget includes a municipal census in 2013 ($27,000), a new parade float ($30,000), repairs to the community centre parking lot ($420,000), a study on water quality flowing into the lake from Golf Course Creek ($35,000), increased electricity costs ($50,000), an affordable housing needs assessment ($7,000), community centre renovations ($74,000), a digital reader board to advertise town events and initiatives ($32,000) and an enhanced beach in the provincial park ($25,000).
Residents and businesses will experience fee increases for water and sewer flat rates as well as the residential green box recycling fee.
Curbside yard waste and kitchen waste collection will continue as will the Drop ‘N’ Swap service at the waste transfer site. The ‘Kick it to the Curb’ program will be back in the summer and the town will introduce automated garbage pick-up for residential properties.
In the planning and development area, the Municipal Development Plan is to be completed in early 2013 and several area structure plans finalized including the plan for 50th Street.