Town council, MLA collide over contentious intersection

Sylvan Lake town council and its rookie MLA are embroiled in a war of words over the contentious Hwy 781 and Hwy 11 intersection.

Sylvan Lake town council and its rookie MLA are embroiled in a war of words over the contentious Hwy 781 and Hwy 11 intersection.

Last week, Kerry Towle, the Wildrose MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, hosted a public meeting to update residents on her lobbying efforts to open up the intersection that was changed to a right-in, right-out configuration for safety reasons.

While town council says they were aware of the meeting, they said they did not receive a formal invitation. Towle has maintained she extended an invitation.

The gathering drew about 350 people from Sylvan Lake and surrounding area who voiced their dismay over the province’s decision to reconfigure the intersection instead of installing traffic lights.

Towle made a point at the meeting of saying that town council was not there to hear people’s concerns. She also suggested that town council was not listening to the needs of the community.

A few days after the meeting, the Town of Sylvan Lake posted an open letter to residents on its website outlining some of its communication problems with the opposition MLA.

Mayor Susan Samson said the town has made a concerted effort to keep the MLA up to speed on intergovernmental affairs involving the town, including the Hwy 781 and Hwy 11 intersection, and Memorial Trail and intersection upgrades (including Memorial Trail and Hwy 20, Hwy 11 and Hwy 20, and Hwy 781 and Hwy 11, and 60th Street and Hwy 11).

The town secured $6.6 million to build out Memorial Trail and the intersections. Samson said the relationship with the MLA is very one-sided.

“We’re very concerned and we spent quite an amount of time and effort to communicate the priorities of our community to the MLA and I don’t believe that’s being reciprocated,” said Samson.

“Yes, Mrs. Towle has talked about how she has attended all these events and activities in our community and that has been at our invite.”

Samson said town council has worked very closely with Alberta government to look after the efficient transportation of residents and the travelling public in the area.

“Council is pleased to report there have been no accidents Hwy 781 and Hwy 11 since the changes have been made.”

Samson said there is no reason for the town to go back to the province to open the conversation on this issue.

However, Towle said it is very clear that the residents in her riding want the intersection re-opened. She said it is her mandate to listen to the residents and lobby on their behalf to the province.

“Clearly this residents are saying this solution does not suit their needs. There are many intersections across this province that are safe and can be used as examples of how this one could be made safe.

“I understand town council’s position initially that it was unsafe intersection but I believe there are ways to make it safe again that don’t include the closure.”

Towle posted a response to the town’s letter on her Facebook page indicating that she invited town council to the public meeting. She said the meeting was advertised in local newspapers that the meeting was open to the public and she sent emails to the town.

“Realistically, the relationship is fine,” said Towle. “There might be a little of a miscommunication but I am sure the town and I will sort it out to do what’s best for the residents.”

Both Sylvan Lake town council and Towle said they look forward to working together over the next four years.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Pioneer life at Red Deer museum

Sunnybrook Farm Museum teaches students

Red Deer College student receives scholarship

Funding from Canadian Hearing Society

Central Alberta school districts are graded on their no-smoking policies

ASH wants them to tighten restrictions on tobacco, vaping, as well as cannabis

Free film shown in Red Deer Thursday to celebrate Recovery Day

A free film will be shown in Red Deer on Thursday about… Continue reading

Calder School takes shape in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum’s latest addition

Hushing my buzz: Alberta finance minister says cannabis warehouse will be secret

EDMONTON — Alberta is starting to stockpile marijuana but isn’t saying where… Continue reading

Relatives mourn death of Calgary-area woman killed by pet dog protecting child

CALGARY — Relatives of a Calgary-area woman killed by her own pet… Continue reading

Florence death toll climbs to 37; Trump visits stricken area

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at… Continue reading

Toronto election proceeding with 25 wards after court sides with province

TORONTO — Ontario’s top court has sided with the provincial government in… Continue reading

Scheer welcomes former Liberal MP Alleslev to Conservative caucus

OTTAWA — Andrew Scheer is trying to fire up his Conservative troops… Continue reading

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled today that Canada wants more… Continue reading

Uber driver suing Bucs’ QB Winston over groping incident

PHOENIX — A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay… Continue reading

Thousands of fans request grand jury probe of Prince’s death

MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of Prince fans are asking federal authorities to open… Continue reading

Most Read