Town of Sylvan Lake. File Photo

Sylvan Lake Town Council proposes no municipal tax increase in 2021 budget

The Town says the current state of the economy played a key factor in the deliberation process.

Sylvan Lake Town Council is proposing no increases on municipal taxes with its 2021 Budget.

The proposed budget, which was approved for circulation at the Jan. 25 meeting of council, sees the second consecutive year the Town has not increased the municipal tax rate for both residential and non-residential properties.

In the Budget Booklet being circulated for the 2021 Budget, the Town says the current state of the economy played a key factor in this year’s deliberation process.

The Town says they are focused on “ensuring individuals, families, and local businesses do not have the additional challenges of tax increases,” this year.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre says the budget presented “strikes an important balance.”

“…This is a budget that acknowledges and respects the challenges that Albertans and Sylvan Lakers are facing due to the ongoing pandemic, yet allows us to maintain important service levels,” McIntyre said in a statement.

The 2021 Budget proposes minimal, necessary, new operating projects for this with a focus on completing ongoing projects from prior years, according to the presentation to Council, Monday night.

Some further highlights to the budget are: increased visitor pay parking fees for the 2021 Visitor Pay Parking Program, the introduction of an online Citizen Portal and the continuation of the Skate Park Ambassador Program.

The proposed budget also does not have an increase for the utility rate or franchise fees.

“The 2021 budget also reflects a deliberate focus on sustainable growth; our community has and will continue to have core infrastructure needs that must be met in order to maintain quality of life, and to keep our population working,” said McIntyre.

2021 will feature continued work on Pogadl Park, improvements to major intersections along Memorial Trail and Phase Two in the 50 Avenue redevelopment.

Smaller projects the Town will look at include developing and implementing a plan to address litter in Sylvan Lake Park.

Town Council plans to approve the 2021 Budget at the end of February, after resident feedback has been obtained.

Locals can give their feedback on the proposed budget online at www.sylvanlake.ca/budget or through email at communications@sylvanlake.ca.

A drop-in open house for the budget is scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Municipal Government Building, subject to current COVID-19 restrictions. The Town is encouraging feedback to be shared online or by reaching out via phone or email.

The 2021 Budget returns to Council for approval, Feb. 22.

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