Sylvan Lake woman says Town’s response time to concerns isn’t enough

Glenda Jackman says it took almost a month for the Town to act on her complaint about a playground

A failing swing belt was cause for alarm for a Sylvan Lake resident, who called in to the Town to have it fixed, but was disappointed it took nearly a month to do so. Photo Submitted

A failing swing belt was cause for alarm for a Sylvan Lake resident, who called in to the Town to have it fixed, but was disappointed it took nearly a month to do so. Photo Submitted

The length of time it takes for the Town of Sylvan Lake to respond to complaints have come under fire, after a local woman contacted the Town with concerns about a playground.

Glenda Jackman says it took the Town nearly a month to do anything about her concerns regarding the playground on Parkland Drive.

In August Jackman took her great grandkids to the playground and says she found trees growing in the sandbox and one of the swing seat about ready to snap off.

She says someone was not sent out to investigate her complaint until Sept. 14, which she says is “too long to act on the complaint.”

“It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen,” Jackman said.

“They guy they sent out to check out the playground looked at the slide and shook a couple beams then went back to his truck. I had to specifically show him the swings, and he said he would have missed it if I hadn’t pointed it out.”

Jackman said the swing was then replaced almost immediately, but says the concern is still how long it took how long it took the Town to respond.

“There is a group of teen girls who spend a lot of time of those swings… I would hate to see someone get hurt because the swing broke,” she said.

Joanne Bjornson, communications officer with the Town of Sylvan Lake, says concerns brought to the Town are reviewed, and those of an immediate concern or are a safety risk will receive a quicker response.

Any complaint or concern the Town receives will have be given a comprehensive review and a “fairly comprehensive health and safety” program exists for Town employees to follow, according to Bjornson.

“How fast we respond really depends on the type on concern. If we received a concern about an empty dog waste receptacle then we have got a different reaction time than something like a missing stop sign at an intersection,” Bjornson said.

Playgrounds in Sylvan Lake are given a complete and comprehensive inspection in the spring, and following that, playgrounds are given a visual inspection and general maintenance each week.

Bjornson says any deficiency in the playground is dealt with immediately. The belt on the swing in question has since been replaced.

Jackman says she is disappointed in the time it took to respond to her complaint, adding it could have caused serious injury.

“They should be checking all the time and not waiting for a complaint… If [shaking a couple beams] is how they are inspecting the playgrounds I have some serious questions,” said Jackman.

She would like to see a new playground installed in the neighbourhood, as the current one is more than 20 years old, she says.

“It just seems like the Town doesn’t care about us, maybe it’s because we are largely in trailers in that area and we are just trailer trash, I’m not sure,” Jackman said.

Any complaint or concern that is directed to the Town is taken very seriously, says Bjornson.

“We thank everyone who brings concerns to our attention… We always invite people to report any concerns they have either on our online portal or by calling or emailing us,” said Bjornson.

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