The Town of Sylvan Lake will continue its focus on core infrastructure and sustainability moving into the new decade.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said in a recent phone interview that sustainability is a main focus for the municipality once again. This is because the economy has had such a huge impact on the Town and its residents.
“The economy is a big concern for us, as it is for everyone,” McIntyre said.
“Like so many other municipalities in Alberta we are an oil and gas town, the tourism industry allows us to diversify our local economy.”
McIntyre says he is looking forward to a sunnier tourism season in 2020 after a rather cold 2019 season.
Despite the economic downturn having an effect on Sylvan Lake, the Town has continued to grow.
In 2019 building permits in Sylvan Lake saw an increase, which McIntyre says is “very promising.”
“Sylvan Lake has seen growth throughout the recession, it hasn’t been as intense as it was during a boom, but we are still seeing growth,” McIntyre said, adding growth is expected to continue in 2020.
To help create more sustainability in the Town’s budget and the local economy, Sylvan Lake is looking to further implement its Festival and Events Strategy.
The Festival and Events Strategy will have a focus on increasing events in the fall, winter and spring.
The strategy is expected to help bring visitors to Sylvan Lake in the off seasons, which will stimulate the local economy as tourist shop and eat in local stores and restaurants.
McIntyre used the Bull Riding Finals in November as an example of how the Festival and Events Strategy will help.
“The Bull Riders was great for us in November… We sold out on the Saturday night. We are looking forward to them coming back in 2020, and so are they.”
McIntyre also expects Sylvan Lake will benefit from major events taking place in Central Alberta in 2020, such as the World Juniors in Red Deer and Edmonton.
In 2020 McIntyre said the Town will continue to focus on core infrastructure.
This continues off of the work done in 2019, such as phase one of the 50 Avenue redevelopment, the completion of the waste water line, beginning construction on a new water reservoir and building a new roundabout on Hwy. 20 and Erickson Drive.
In 2020, infrastructure improvements will be done on 53 Street and 50A Street.
Another big improvement scheduled for 2020 is the rehabilitation of the roundabout at Hwy. 11A and Hwy. 20.
“We are working with the Province to rehab the other roundabout in Sylvan Lake, and they say it will be done in 2020,” McIntyre said.
The focuses for the Town for 2020 are built upon the events and work put in place in 2019, as well as the Town’s in-depth 10 Year Capital Budget.