On November 29, the Town of Sylvan Lake, along with Town Council, will be hosting an open house, Coffee & Cupcakes with Council.
The event at Sugarbelle Cakery is designed to allow residents to engage in the 2017 Town of Sylvan Lake Budget process in a more comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, according to Communications Officer for the Town, Joanne Gaudet.
“In the past, we’ve held these budget meetings with less than stellar attendance,” she said. “Knowing budget information is really important to our residents we decided to go somewhere comfortable for our residents. We are more likely to share the information successfully.”
The event will be offering free tea, coffee and cupcakes to any who wish to attend with Sugarbelle Cakery allowing the Town to have a comfortable space for these meetings while they are short on facility space.
“We always have Council Chambers – but that is more of a formal setting,” Gaudet said. “As far as casual settings – we won’t have many options until the NexSource Center opens. We looked at Sugarbelle because they have the rentable space. It’s warm and welcoming.”
According to Gaudet, the economy does pose concerns for the 2017 budget year, however the Town administration and Council have crafted the budget with that in mind.
“There is always that worry, however we feel we have done a good job of putting together one of the leanest budgets we have seen in a long time,” Gaudet said. “We are proposing a 0.2 per cent tax rate increase and we are taking the scalpel to a number of initiatives. Keeping only what we really needed to keep was fundamental. The budget will not be too heavy.”
Gaudet stressed that the rate increase comes from a need to replace wastewater systems in Sylvan Lake, following a summer which saw the Town needing to take drastic precautionary measures to avoid a lagoon crisis.
“We have been preparing residents for those increases to replace the underground systems and also to connect our system to the regional wastewater system – which is our ultimate goal,” Gaudet said. “Those will continue to rise and we need to reinforce the communication around that so people understand the need.”
The event at Sugarbelle on November 29 between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Council and Town administration will be available to anyone who have questions about the budget process or any other Town initiative.