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.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
West Park woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Hassan Diab holds a news conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa Friday, February 7 , 2020.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Canada must not extradite Diab regardless of coming French court decision: lawyer

Canada must not extradite Diab regardless of coming French court decision: lawyer

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Vancouver's mayor says he understands that some drug users aren't happy with the city's proposed model for decriminalization but time is of the essence and the details can be worked out later. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time for drug decriminalization redo

Vancouver mayor says there’s no time for drug decriminalization redo

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Saskatchewan Mountie charged with first-degree murder after man found dead in woods

Saskatchewan Mountie charged with first-degree murder after man found dead in woods

Garneau quarantine travel to Iceland raises government confusion over rules

Garneau quarantine travel to Iceland raises government confusion over rules

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. After repeatedly voting non-confidence in the minority Liberal government, the Bloc Quebecois is now calling on the government to do everything possible to avoid an election during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BQ calls on Liberals to avoid pandemic election, despite voting non-confidence

BQ calls on Liberals to avoid pandemic election, despite voting non-confidence

U.K. study says expect more reactions from mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines

U.K. study says expect more reactions from mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

Singer Celine Dion performs during her first World Tour show called Courage Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Songbird Uncaged: Celine Dion readies return to Las Vegas stage for 10-date run

Songbird Uncaged: Celine Dion readies return to Las Vegas stage for 10-date run

Most Read