I am a regular reader of the Sylvan Lake News and have seen what I consider to be some very negative letters regarding Sylvan Lake, the current Mayor and Council and the Alberta government. While I am not always in favour of all the decisions made by the various levels of government I wanted the opportunity to add my comments to the discussion. I will try to address each issue individually in order to clearly state my feelings.
1. Gull Lake vs. Sylvan Lake – I seem to be reading more and more about Sylvan versus Gull Lake. I have been to both lakes and it seems to me that both offer fantastic tourist destinations. But Gull more full than Sylvan? I don’t think so. This past weekend, when the sun was shining and the previous weekend with the Half Ironman was underway, Sylvan Lake was packed! The stores were all doing a booming business. If folks want to head off to Gull Lake then go for it. More room in Sylvan for those like myself that prefer it here.
2. Speed bumps on Lakeshore Drive – I have driven along Lakeshore Drive from one end to the other at the posted limit of 30/kph and not once had to apply my brakes. I see so many folks speed between the bumps and then apply their brakes as they approach the bump. Why can’t folks slow down and enjoy the view, now unobstructed with parked vehicles. I heard this past weekend that ambulances can’t go down Lakeshore as the bumps would knock a patient off the gurney. Surely the emergency folks would be intelligent enough to proceed to 50 Avenue if speed was essential to the patient. As for the bumps taking out a trailer, it seems that some folks insist on doing more than 30/kph. I have sat along the side of Lakeshore and watched hundreds of vehicles pulling trailers without any problems.
3. Sylvan boat launch – in a recent letter the FREE launch at Sunbreaker Cove was mentioned. I prefer to say it is a NO FEE launch as the County is spending or has spent millions to improve the launch and build a parking lot. Those dollars came from the taxpayer and I suspect that many are not happy at all with this expenditure. In private industry every investor expects a “return on investment” (ROI). The launch In Sylvan Lake is owned privately and the new owners have spent many millions on the property and have only four months to get a ROI. I would guess that if the town was to waive their taxes and supply a grant that possibly the $40 fee could be reduced, but as a taxpayer I suspect not many of us would be in favour of that option. Everything costs money and as consumers we all have a choice. Either we buy or we don’t. I choose where I buy my groceries, my fuel, my ice cream cones and my coffee. Some are less than others, but it is my choice. Launch at the marina in Sylvan or drive to the north end of the lake, it’s your choice.
4. Washrooms and Highways 11 & 781 – folks still want to bring this up and are saying just wait until the next election. I am sure that they realize that these are both provincial issues. There was just a provincial election and the PC candidate was defeated. However the PC’s are still the government so if you want action I suggest you direct your venom towards the new Wildrose MLA and see what can be done. I suspect that both are a done deal so move on. I have no problem driving up #781, turning right at #11 and entering Sylvan Lake via #20. Total time expended was TWO minutes and I’m alive. Works for me.
5. In the (next) election, I will support our current Mayor and some but not all of the current councillors. My wife and I love the new Centennial Park and have enjoyed many sandwiches in the easy chairs on nice evenings. I speak with folks as they walk the promenade and have yet to find one person who doesn’t feel as we do. I watch the children playing and splashing around in the water. They seem to love it as much as we do. The lake goes up and the lake goes down. When you look on the Sylvan Lake Facebook page there is a chart that shows lake levels over the years. The lake was almost as high as it is now, back in the 1950s. I remember that time and also remember Alberta Highways building up the then Highway 11, now Lakeshore Drive to act as a dike and prevent the flooding of the cottages. It all looked so high to me as young lad of five or six. The lake will come back down given less rain and some hot weather.
My whole family and many friends enjoy Sylvan Lake and will be coming here for many years. Change is sometimes hard for folks to accept. I would suggest that we all embrace change and support the Town of Sylvan Lake for all that it has and will have!