Sylvan Lake boat launch proposal sinks

Town was considering buying a boat launch until complications arose

Legal complications have scuttled a proposal to sell a boat launch to the Town of Sylvan Lake.

Moments before council was to consider a recommendation on Monday evening to buy the boat launch and 10 slips owned by Sylvan Lake Harbour Ltd. for almost $1.2 million the item was withdrawn by administration. Some commercial space would also be leased as part of the deal.

Town spokeswoman Joanne Gaudet said the municipality’s lawyers highlighted some unresolved issues connected with the sale on the seller’s side. The town has no interest in buying the property without those issues being resolved.

“What we have negotiated and what had been proposed to us that we agreed on, that is dead,” she said.

It would be up to the seller to come back with another proposal, she said.

There was some disappointment on council that the proposal wasn’t viable for the town.

Gaudet said a number of people turned out for the debate, a sign of the public interest in a boat launch.

“A lot of people want boat access, want affordable boat access. So, it’s considered a benefit to the community and something we’re going to continue to research, but not in the form we were going to present to council last night,” she said.

A representative for the WatersEdge condominium board spoke against the sale to council, she said.

Sylvan Lake Harbour Ltd. developed the WatersEdge Marina Development, which features 25 villas, boat launch and 174-slip marina on Lakeshore Drive.

The boat launch was available for public use but there was “considerable public concern about the rates” and public use, especially by town residents, declined, says a report to council.

The town has been working on finding another access point to the lake for years and in recent months those efforts have been stepped up. Sylvan Lake’s purchase of the site of a former waterslide had some residents seeing its boat launch potential.

However, feasibility studies and environmental approvals would be required and substantial infrastructure funded, says town staff. Also, a boat launch would limit other potential public uses for the site.

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