Sylvan Lake weighing its options after grant applications rejected

Town of Sylvan Lake will have to do some number crunching after $7.2 million worth of grants were turned down.

Town of Sylvan Lake will have to do some number crunching after $7.2 million worth of grants were turned down.

The town was hoping to get $5.8 million to go towards a new $6.5-million water reservoir through the federal and provincial governments’ Small Communities Fund. A second $1.4-million grant was sought to help pay for the ongoing redevelopment of Lakeshore Drive.

Last month, council got the bad news that the grants were not coming.

Dave Brand, Sylvan Lake director of public works, said it’s always disappointing not to get hoped-for money but it was a program that was in high demand provincewide.

“Certainly, I’m sure the projects the funding is going towards are very worthwhile and have their merits.”

The town’s 10-year capital plan does not assume grant applications will succeed, he said.

“We do make accommodations to finance them accordingly without having to rely upon grant dollars. In that instance, while grant dollars would have been extremely helpful for us, it leaves us with our other options.”

Those include borrowing, dipping into reserves, and tapping other funding sources, such as provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative or Federal Gas Tax grants.

Council has some time to do some number juggling. A decision was made earlier this summer to delay the fifth and sixth phases of the long-running redevelopment project because of a lack of tender interest.

Only a single bid came in on both projects and council opted to re-tender both projects together next year in hopes of getting more competitive pricing.

Phase 5 would finish sidewalks and roadwork from 33rd Street east to the Hwy 20 roundabout. Phase 6 does similar work from 52nd Street to Marina Bay.

The bid was $2.1 million, which was $600,000 more than the town had budgeted. While the bid on Phase 6 was $1.6 million — far below the $2.6 million the town had budgeted — there was no guarantee the work could be done this year or that the price was competitive.

On the reservoir front, there is time to pull together the necessary funding because the reservoir was slated as a 2018 project. This fall, preliminary design and site selection work will be tendered.

Like most municipalities, Sylvan Lake’s water system is designed to pay for itself through rates charged to residents and other users. Rates were already projected to go up and the town will spread the project over a number of years to avoid big increases to the flat rate, which is used to pay for infrastructure.

Tapping other grants or reserves and borrowing are other options to be reviewed.

The total cost of the reservoir will be in the $10-million range as other phases are built well into the 2020s.

Just Posted

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

LONGUEUIL, Que. — David Saint-Jacques returned to Earth on Monday after more… Continue reading

Cambodia charges 7, including Chinese, in building collapse

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — A court in Cambodia said Tuesday that seven people,… Continue reading

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’

LONDON — An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into… Continue reading

Orangutans, polar bears make a splash as Europe swelters

VIENNA — Orangutans at a Vienna zoo got buckets of water, lemurs… Continue reading

‘Nothing apparent:’ Dad accused in son’s meningitis death says no obvious signs

LETHBRIDGE — A father accused in his son’s death testified Monday that… Continue reading

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Skinny Vancouver Whitecaps eager to pick up points on four-game road swing

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps know there’s work to be done as… Continue reading

World Cup exit shows Canada will miss the remarkable Christine Sinclair

PARIS — Christine Sinclair has put Canadian soccer on her shoulders for… Continue reading

Police release more than 1,000 files from Smollett probe

Chicago police on Monday released more than 1,000 files from the investigation… Continue reading

Tributes to Michael Jackson flow on 10th death anniversary

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s estate paid tribute to his artistry and… Continue reading

Alberta government, Opposition swap accusations, attacks in earplug debate

EDMONTON — Alberta’s earplug debate got louder Monday as the Opposition NDP… Continue reading

‘Clients fall off:’ Calgary program helps recently released prisoners with hep C

CALGARY — Imagine adjusting to life after serving prison time, then add… Continue reading

Opera star Measha Brueggergosman recovering from double bypass surgery

CALGARY — Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is recovering from heart surgery,… Continue reading

Who you gonna call? Alberta rattlesnake wrangler keeps serpents, citizens safe

LETHBRIDGE — One rattlesnake got caught in freshly laid tar under someone’s… Continue reading

Most Read