Sylvan Lake looking to raise municipal taxes

Sylvan Lake residents can expect a 2.7 per cent municipal tax increase next year.

Sylvan Lake residents can expect a 2.7 per cent municipal tax increase next year.

For the average homeowner the increase will add another $27.10 to their municipal property taxes, says a draft $26.9 million budget to be circulated to the public for comment. The increase only covers the municipal portion of bills because the amount of the province’s school requisition, which typically makes up a little less than half of property tax bills, won’t be known until next spring.

On top of the tax hike, which will raise an additional $734,000, the town is proposing to boost the recreation levy to $400,000 from $100,000. The increase will add $14.68 to a typical tax bill. The additional money will be used to help fund a new community complex that is to be built beginning in 2013.

An open house on the feasibility of the community complex and what features it should have has been set for Nov. 23 at the Medican Multiplex at 4803 48th St.

Council will debate the budget at its Dec. 12 meeting when final approval is expected. Mayor Susan Samson and other council members could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The budget also proposes a three per cent increase in water and sewer rates, which will add $10.80 to typical bills in 2012.

Among the initiatives that will continue is a curb-side yard and kitchen waste collection service. The program that will run April through October allows residents to mingle their yard and kitchen waste.

A pilot project this year to hire roaming beach ambassadors during the summer months will return at a cost of $23,975. Another $10,000 will be spent erecting a shelter.

A number of new initiatives are planned:

• An economic development officer and a planner will be hired

• $40,000 for a new Drop ’n Swap facility will be built at the waste transfer site so residents can exchange unwanted items.

• $35,000 for a community asset and needs study

• $25,000 for an additional radar trailer to catch speeders

The $14.9 million capital budget includes:

• $4.5 million for Memorial Trail construction from Lakeway Boulevard to Hwy 20

• $3.08 million for Lakeshore Drive pedestrian-friendly park Phase 4

• $2.15 million utility main replacement

• $1.1 million for Centennial Park Phase 4

• $825,000 for detailed design and site selection for a new fire hall. Construction is expected to begin in 2013 on the $4.6 million building.

• $500,000 for detailed design for new Community Complex

• $500,000 for 40th Street modernization

• $180,000 for dog park at 60th Street

— copyright Red Deer Advocate