Sylvan Lake Town Council wants both sides of the story to make decisions

Council met for its regular bi-monthly meeting on Sept. 25

Sylvan Lake Town Council met for its regular meeting on Sept. 26, this iteration of council will have one more meeting before the municipal election of Oct. 16.

During the meeting, council heard from a delegation from the Community Housing Committee, got an update on the landscaping plan for the Waterford Station, awarded a contract for the Sustainable Waterfront Redevelopment Strategy and discussed the possible cancellation of tax penalties for two private property owners.

Community Housing Committee

Geoff Olsen, with the housing committee came to the meeting to discuss a proposed request for seed funding.

This request is for $20,000 so the committee may prepare an assessment of housing needs in Sylvan Lake.

“We have done some research and used a recent assessment done in Red Deer as a base,” said Olsen.

The information gathered from Red Deer can not be used in its entirety for Sylvan Lake, as the city has a different demographic and need set than Sylvan Lake.

Town council will approach the request at budget time.

Waterford Station

Council was generally displeased with the administrative report regarding the phase one landscaping report for Waterford Station.

The report claimed the proposed landscaping for the development would not be maintainable by the Town’s workers, however, Council has never seen the plans to verify this fact.

“I’d like to actually see what is actually proposed in the plan, and what makes it so big and unmanageable,” said Coun. Dale Plante. “It sounds to me like it is mostly green space rather than a residential development.”

Council agreed they would like to see more information about the plans, before making more decisions based on “one side of the story,” as Coun. Matt Prete said.

Contract Awarded

On the recommendation of administration, Town Council awarded a contract to McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. This contract is for the the continuation of the Waterfront Redevelopment Plan.

McElhanney Consulting was chosen despite not being the cheapest offer received. The project committee agreed this organization met all the criteria which included; budget, understanding of the project, tactics, qualifications, experience and references.

The estimated time for the project is 430 hours.

Tax Penalties

Council received a request to cancel the tax penalties on two properties claiming extenuating circumstances on the final day the taxes are due.

Council those not to wave the penalties as the incident in question happened on the final due date for taxes, and the property owners had two months previous to that date to pay.

Clearer Rules Needed

Coun. Megan Chernoff-Hanson requested a discussion about absentee councillors to be held before the election . Specifically she would like to cover the importance of being present at the council meetings.

“Sure there are always extenuating circumstances, but this is a requirement of being a councillor,” Chernoff-Hanson said, adding missing a lot of meetings in a year is unacceptable.

She would also like to discuss the possibility of allowing for maternity leave as a councillor.

“We are trying to get more young women interested in politics, and having some sort of maternity leave, whatever that looks like for us, I think will help,” she said.

Both of these issues will be discussed at the next meeting of council.

The Sylvan Lake Town Council will meet for one last meeting before the election. The next meeting of council will take place on Oct.10 at 6 p.m.

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