Regional authority for lake?

A Town of Sylvan Lake councillor believes it’s time to test the waters and gauge support for a regional government to oversee the lake.

A Town of Sylvan Lake councillor believes it’s time to test the waters and gauge support for a regional government to oversee the lake.

Ken MacVicar said it would be easier to set development standards around the lake and work with other levels of government if there was a single municipality in charge.

“I guess the bottom line is I’d like to see at least that we enter into that dialogue and maybe a feasibility study to see if does work or doesn’t work.”

MacVicar raised the idea of a regional government at a recent council meeting.

Since then, said he has had a number of supportive calls from people who live around the lake.

“It’s been very positive. They all see this as being a solution to some of the problems that we are facing.”

The best way to put the issue on the table is to take it to area residents first and find out if there is widespread support. “I’d like to start having a dialogue with people living around the lake,” he said.

“This is not a new idea. It’s been brought up before and raised in committees. My own council is fully supportive of the idea at least of having the discussion.”

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson fully supports pursuing ways to improve management of the lake and finding consensus among municipalities.

Communities around the lake often run into “stumbling blocks” because the interests of one may not match the interests of another municipality.

“Maybe the answer is regional governance.”

There is a growing support among many Alberta municipalities that old ways of governing are no longer suiting communities’ needs. Samson believes that’s true around the lake.

“It isn’t sustainable the way we have it now.”

MacVicar said a pair of recent gatherings — a meeting of municipalities to discuss waste water management and a public meeting on a proposed development — provided further evidence to him of the difficulties involved in overseeing a lake where five summer villages, two counties and the town have an interest.

The Sylvan Lake Management Plan committee, which includes representatives from each community, has also recently considered ways to simplify the development process around the popular recreational and fishing lake.

It was suggested that an inter-municipal staff person could be hired to oversee development applications and land-use bylaws to ensure the same standards were applied everywhere.

Lacombe County discussed the proposal last month and shot it down. Reeve Terry Engen said the county believes turning over development approval within its jurisdiction to an outside body would be abdicating its responsibility to ratepayers.

MacVicar is well aware the idea of turning over authority to another body will not sit well with all municipal politicians and could become a turf protection issue.

That is why he wants to see the issue taken to the public first to see if there is support to study it further. If the support is there, a feasibility study would make sense, he added.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Class size targets hard to reach in Red Deer

Red Deer Public Schools recently updated its average class size

Lotteries look to younger customers to increase sales

Promoting online and interactive games

Red Deer man helps light up the holidays for others

Jim Elliott’s in his 15th year of mapping the city’s most magical, lit-up homes

With drug consumption site approved in Red Deer’s Rail Lands, at least 2 businesses look to move

With the city moving ahead with a fenced-off supervised drug consumption site… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Sex assault trial for former gymnastics coach resumes in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. — The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused… Continue reading

Victims of former ski coach Charest say they were ‘sacrificed’ by Alpine Canada

MONTREAL — A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Alpine Canada by three victims… Continue reading

Emily Blunt on the ‘daunting’ task of playing Mary Poppins

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Emily Blunt loves a challenge, and in the… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

Most Read