Sylvan clean ups up its act

Efforts to make Sylvan Lake more attractive to families are starting to pay off, says its mayor.

Efforts to make Sylvan Lake more attractive to families are starting to pay off, says its mayor.

Susan Samson recently cited the June statistics update from the RCMP detachment as evidence that the beachfront town that once had a reputation as a party spot is changing its stripes.

Acknowledging that statistics can be misleading, Samson zeroed in on the number of violations under the Liquor Act, down to 47 for the first half of this year from 98 in the first half of 2011.

While there has been a significant decrease in liquor violations, the number of incidents in a few other key areas have risen, including substantial increases in criminal harassment, from seven to 33, and assaults, from 51 to 70.

The numbers are still low enough that a single violator can have a dramatic effect on the statistics, said Samson. For example, a single suspect, working alone was arrested, charged and convicted after a series of graffiti complaints.

The number of violations he committed had a significant effect on the total number of mischief charges laid for that period, she said.

Increases in other areas arise from the phenomenal growth the town has experienced in recent years, putting it neck and neck with the City of Lacombe, said Samson.

Statistics Canada’s 2011 census places Sylvan Lake at 12,327 people, on track to reach 12,500 for its 100th anniversary in 2013, said Samson.

Provincial figures place those numbers ahead of population counts in Lacombe, which reported 11,115 people in 2011.

Samson said the need to direct growth in Sylvan Lake has spurred the town to take a number of projects, including the new RCMP detachment building, construction now underway on a new town hall and plans to build a new fire hall next to the RCMP building.

The number of RCMP and bylaw officers in Sylvan Lake now fall in line with the target of one peace officer for every 850 people, said Samson.

A significant factor in creating a more family-friendly environment has been the extensive changes along Lakeshore Drive, including construction of parking lots, raised intersections to slow traffic and construction of two large washroom facilities.

Samson said she and members of the town council have been showered with compliments from people who appreciate the improvements in parking, convenience and pedestrian safety.

Just Posted

Trudeau: no apologies for heckler encounter, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

OTTAWA — Hate speech and the politics of division are creating a… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP charge woman with drug trafficking

Rocky Mountain House RCMP have charged a woman with drug trafficking after… Continue reading

Officials report some headway on wildfires, but thick smoke hangs over B.C.

Wildfire crews report some headway was made over the weekend battling hundreds… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month