Sylvan shoreline residents want access to park restored

Residents along a portion of the shoreline provincial park in Sylvan Lake will have to wait to see if their request for the return of an access point will be granted.

Residents along a portion of the shoreline provincial park in Sylvan Lake will have to wait to see if their request for the return of an access point will be granted.

Several residents from the 35th Street area came to a recent town council meeting to lobby for a staircase down to the provincial park.

A previous access was removed as part of a multi-million dollar town upgrade of Centennial Park, including the creation of a promenade that runs the length of the waterfront.

Gavin Fick told council that many area residents consider the changes a design error and pointed out it has boosted the time it takes to reach the nearest access from less than a minute to nearly four.

Another resident, John Law, said he had been told by provincial parks staff during the design stage that stairs would be put in place at 35th Street.

A petition of nearly 60 names asking that the access be restored was presented to council.

A report to council says with input from the public and through negotiations with Alberta Tourism, Recreation and Parks the number of access points was increased to four from two.

However, 35th Street was not included because the provincial park there is narrow and has been eroded by high water. Alberta Parks plans to leave the area alone so vegetation can grow and provide a natural buffer.

Coun. Dale Plante moved a motion to ask the province if it would support a set of stairs being installed. A cost estimate was also requested.

Mayor Susan Samson, who voted against the motion along with Coun. Laverne Asselstine, said there seems to be enough support on council for more stairs if the province changes its mind on the issue.

“I mean you’re not going to make the request if you have no intention of building another access point,” said Samson.

pcowley@www.reddeeradvocate.com