Sylvan Lake Town Council Highlights

It was a busy meeting for Council on Tuesday, October 11.

TENTATIVE DATE SET FOR NEXSOURCE CENTRE OPENING

The Town of Sylvan Lake NexSource Centre, a $33.5 million project, is on schedule to be completed by the end of February 2017.

During Tuesday night’s regular meeting of Town Council, the mayor and councillors voted to set the opening date for the public as March 31, 2017 pending the facilities completion with a grand opening event to be scheduled for a later date.

Ron Lebseck, director of Community Services, stated in a presentation to Council that as construction nears completion the opening of the facility will be on many people’s mind and a contingent opening schedule is required to communicate to the public, as many individuals and community organizations are eager to utilize the facility.

A ‘hand-over’ date of the building is expected late February. Lebseck explained that once the facility has been turned over to the Town, the month of March will be spent ensuring all staff are properly trained on the operations of the building and that the building is functioning properly. The building will undergo pressure tests for the ice plant and flow testing for the pool systems to ensure operations are functioning adequately.

A final date has not yet been set for the grand opening event, however Town staff and Council hope to allow the public into the facility as early as March 31. If operations are flowing smoothly, the doors to the facility may open earlier.

Councillor Megan Chernoff stated she would like to the see the Town be really well prepared for the grand opening celebration adding she would like to see the public in as soon as possible.

“I feel the public should be in as soon as possible, if it’s March 22 let it be March 22,” said Chernoff. “If we are in a week early that’s great. I’d like to see the pool, the running track and the kids play area open as soon as possible. We have a lot of people really itching to get into this building, especially swimming. They’ve seen a number of delays on this and any extra day we can get our residents in is great.”

Chernoff added going forward it will be instrumental to communicate effectively with the public on the opening of the NexSource Centre.

“We’ve been saying February 2017, so this is a change in what we’ve been communicating,” said Chernoff.

Councillor Dale Plante added he feels it is very important during the opening of the building to properly acknowledge every one involved.

“We aren’t just opening a building, we’re acknowledging a great deal of sponsors and people who are running the various areas of the building such as the curling club, Minor Hockey and the people running the concession,” said Plante. “There are a lot of players here.”

He explained he would really like to see the Town plan a significant grand opening event as he believes it is a once in a life time opportunity to ‘put Sylvan on display’ adding there is a possibility for a trade show or a similar event. He added it will be important to recognize Hockeyville during the grand opening of the facility.

Mayor Sean McIntyre echoed Councillor Chernoff’s sentiments in that he acknowledged how many people are anxious and eager to get into the NexSource Centre.

“I know we’ve been talking February but that’s when construction will be done,” said McIntyre. “Through the process of constructing this facility we have had support in the way of pool time, ice time and facility rentals that have come from Sylvan Lake to adjacent municipalities. I really think we ought to invite our neighbours to this [the grand opening].”

Chief Administrative Officer, Betty Osmond said she is very much looking forward to the opening of the NexSource Centre but she feels it is important for people to understand that both the opening day for the public and the grand opening celebration are contingent to the scheduled completion of the facility.

“It is a $33 million project,” said Osmond. “It is on schedule right now but things do happen and I just want to add that all of these dates are contingent on us gaining occupancy to the building on schedule.”

TOWN WINS AUMA SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

The Town of Sylvan Lake was recently awarded at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s (AUMA) annual conference.

“The Town was recognized for their progressive and comprehensive work on economic diversification and economic development within the Town,” explained Chief Administrative Officer, Betty Osmond. “I think it’s very fitting because our original sustainability plan won an award from AUMA a few years ago. One of their pillars was economic development and that’s the one they recognized us for this year.”

Osmond recognized the Town’s economic development officer, Vicki Kurz, for doing the ‘lion’s share of work’ on this project.

“It’s very nice to have been recognized,” said Osmond. “I think one of the reasons why we were successful is that we have many partners and succesful partnerships.”

Mayor Sean McIntyre added it is very excited to be recognized on the business development front.

SYLVAN BASED REGIONAL COALITION NOMINATED FOR INSPIRATION AWARD

The Regional Vision for Non-Violence Coalition has been nominated for a 2016 Alberta Inspiration Award in Family and Community Safety. This award is from the Government of Alberta, Ministry of Human Services. The Sylvan Lake Community Partners nominated the group for their work (in 13 communities) in the area of “Family Violence”. Specifically, “the award recognizes those who are working to prevent family violence and/or promote healthy relationships”. The letter of support came from Sylvan Lake Victim Services.

Each year during Family Violence Prevention Month in November, selected nominees who demonstrate leadership will be recognized with an award, honouring their contributions to violence prevention or building healthy relationships.

For more information you may visit www.humanservices.alberta.ca

The Central Alberta Regional Vision for Non-Violence Coalition includes the communities of Benalto, Bentley, Blackfalds, Bowden, Delburne, Eckville, Elnora, Innisfail, Lacombe, Rimbey, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, and Sylvan Lake.

DECISION MADE ON ANIMAL CONTROL SERVICES

Council carried a motion on Tuesday evening electing to hire an additional full time bylaw officer to carry out duties of animal control in Sylvan Lake.

The decision will require an $18,000 budget adjustment to allow for the outfitting of a Ford Explorer with protective equipment and animal control equipment in addition to providing animal control specific training to the new officer.

The Town will be utilizing Animal Control Services/Klassic Kennels for animal pound services for an amount not to exceed $35,400.

Previous discussions around the animal control services had Council and Town staff entertaining the notion of creating a localized pound service however the option was later dropped.

The discussion around animal control services has been taking place for a number of months following a contract expiration with the existing contract provider, Jim deBoon of Animal Control Services. DeBoon will continue to operate animal control services in Sylvan Lake until the new bylaw officer is sufficiently trained.

TOWN TO ALLOW DOWNTOWN MURAL

An application was recieved by Town staff for a painted wall mural on an existing building which is a permitted restaurant, Viva La Sirena. The painted wall mural, located on the east side of the building facing 49 st. and is approximately 5 metres by 10 metres.

The property is zoned in the Waterfront Commercial District and therefore must adhere to policies within the Waterfront Urban Design Guidelines. Regulations state all wall murals are considered discretionary and must be approved by the Town prior and in this instant the mural wasn’t pre-approved before being painted.

The mural is decorative in nature and includes a sunset image of the lake and lighthouse with a mermaid resting on a rock. Town staff stated that given the name of restaurant, Viva La Sirena which translates to ‘long live the mermaid’ it would be considered an appropriate location for the mural.

Council voted to double the fees for the Development Permit from $150 to $300 as penalty as the mural was completed without proper permitting.

 

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