Dressler claims debt an issue for town; his facts incorrect

I have to agree with Mr. Mannix and I have been bringing the debt issue of the town forward for quite a few letters

Dear Editor,

I have to agree with Mr. Mannix and I have been bringing the debt issue of the town forward for quite a few letters but it was difficult to get real numbers before now.

Yes its seems unbelievable that councils have dug up a park, removed all the 100 year old trees, torn down the playground, removed all the facilities for day use, then resodded the area, built a new playground, replanted new trees and replaced the existing parking lot with a new one.

So sum total gain is zero and it cost $22 million. Using a simple mortgage calculator the final all-in cost is close to $39 million. That’s a terrifying amount. Monthly payments on the park are $129,700 for the next 25 years … you can factor that into the 2,500 residences in town. The amusing thing is that this will show up in your tax bill next year.

This will make Sylvan Lake the most expensive town in the area to live and put a huge burden on any businesses that can struggle to survive. Two councils were warned repeatedly of the effects of their decisions. They were told of the effect on the downtown core and the effects on businesses overall. All of these facts were totally ignored.

I personally have to hang my head in shame and spit at the debt that has been allowed. The new town hall is a further disgrace to the stability of the town as a functioning entity. This generation does not understand the Alberta of 1980.

City of Edmonton bonds were sold on the junk market due to decisions of the mayor at the time. The next council and all further generations will bear the burden of this council’s folly.

Also, now that the marina has completed its fencing I have to ask where is the park area that so much promised — is it underwater now? Is that the next excuse. I don’t think this town can stand any more pain. Please choose wisely when you vote.

Thank you

Lyle Dressler,

Sylvan Lake

Editor’s Note: Mr. Dressler is incorrect that the town borrowed money for the $22 million Lakeshore Drive redevelopment, which included underground infrastructure, streets and parks. The majority of the money came from grants from the provincial and federal governments. At the rededication of Centennial Park, Mayor Susan Samson said “we were able to finance it without property tax money”.

The 2012 audited financial statement of the town indicates long term debt is $8.5 million, down about $300,000 from the previous year.