A group trying to limit the racket from boats and snowmobiles on Sylvan Lake is not giving up despite a recent setback.
Town of Sylvan Lake council turned down the Quiet Enjoyment Initiative (QEI) committee’s request for $2,000 to go towards its efforts to reduce noise.
The committee was also hoping to get the town to support in principle its objective and to assign a councillor or town staff person to the committee. A pair of summer village mayors and a Red Deer County councillor are already involved.
Kent Lyle, chairman of the Quiet Enjoyment Initiative, said he “is disappointed that the Sylvan Lake Council rejected all three harmless requests.”
Other Sylvan Lake municipalities are on board and have agreed to all three requests from the committee, which is a sub-committee of the Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society, he said. The society is comprised of representatives from the Town of Sylvan Lake, Red Deer and Lacombe counties and five summer villages.
Lyle said the group plans to keep pressing for changes on the lake.
“The QEI will carry on its efforts in 2018 tailored to available financial support and likely with more guidance from Alberta Environment and Parks.”
Lyle said the town should helm efforts to improve the lake atmosphere.
“It is our belief, that of the eight municipalities surrounding Sylvan Lake, the Town of Sylvan Lake should be the leader in supporting this cause as it has the most to gain from any successes QEI may achieve in reducing unreasonable noise on the lake,” he said.
“Considering the population and the importance of the tourist industry to the town, noise reduction on the lake will have a positive impact including all the visitors that recreate on the lake.”
Lyle said the biggest noise culprits are boats and snowmobiles without adequate mufflers. Boats equipped with powerful music systems are also adding to the din.
Outboards and stern-drive boats are not a problem as they exit their exhaust under the water in almost all cases, he said.
A report to town council said noise has not been an issue with residents or visitors and few complaints have been received.
“As we are a leading recreational lake and tourism destination in Alberta, some degree of noise is expected to accompany lake usage and the tourism industry,” reads the report.
“Council must also consider that supporting this (Quiet Enjoyment Initiative) might be seen as discouraging tourism.”