The arrival of Daylight Savings Time is a reminder that winter is drawing to a close and warmer spring and summer weather is not that far off. I think most would agree that we've had a most interesting few months, particularly on the political scene both nationally and internationally. Closer to home we have also had a number of further development on various Village initiatives and a brief update appears below.
Our Pathway Project
As mentioned in the December newsletter, a number of residents had identified to us areas where they felt additional work might be considered and further improvements could be made. We have received a quote from the original contractor, and at our February Council meeting made the decision to proceed with this additional work. So once again, expect to see additional upgrades being made with the onset of warmer weather. Thank you to those residents who took the time to offer suggestions to further enhance the usability of our pathways network.
Piers and Hoists Committee
To date, the Committee has met twice and on both occasions, there was quite a strong feeling that we needed to solicit additional information from our ratepayers. The Committee wanted more tangible information as to how our residents were currently accessing the lake, who had piers & hoists, their views on registration, whether they were lakefront or back lot owners, whether they were part of a communal pier and dock configuration or had their own configuration to mention a few. A questionnaire will be made available to our residents (click here to download the questionnaire) and our expectation is that our ratepayers will help guide the process much like what was done with our Open Spaces Committee a couple of years ago. Your participation in this process is encouraged, so please take the time to reply.
Wastewater Project Update
With the completion of the detailed engineering report, Council retained RW Jenkins & Associates to prepare a business plan. The business plan outlines the sources of funding for the project and provides Council and rate payers with estimates of capital and operating cost components for the project. Funding sources include a combination of allocations from the current reserve funds, available MSI grants, and a long-term debenture from the Alberta Capital Financing Authority.
Council may be approving the business plan at the April 2017 Council meeting, and will also apply to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for approval to expand Sunbreaker's debt ceiling. Concurrently, Council will be providing rate payers with further funding details for the project and the bylaw required to allow for the local improvement levy and borrowing base to fund the project.
Sunbreaker Cove is a member of the regional Sylvan Lake Regional Waste Water Commission ("SLRWWC"), which oversees development planning, funding and construction of the collection system around the lake. In addition, the SLRWWC mandate includes eventually collecting all waste water in the Sylvan Lake watershed for treatment at the Red Deer Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plant. Sunbreaker Cove continues to proceed with planning in order to be "shovel-ready" to build the collection system as soon as provincial funding is made available to the SLWWC to build the forced main lateral to the existing collection system recently built out to include the Summer Village of Birchcliff.
Ice Hut Removal
A gentle reminder that ice huts must be removed from the lake no later than March 31st. If you, a neighbour or a friend have an ice hut and fall into this category, and given the unseasonably warm weather we are currently enjoying, this is something you might want to tend to before the end of the month.
The Ice Hut Committee this year continues to lobby Minister Shannon Phillips with Environment and Parks to see their way to making it mandatory to register Ice Huts with the view to keeping our lakes clean from debris that could harm both people and animals. However, we have had no response again this season. The committee continues to volunteer its time towards an education program our distribution of the "Take it off" brochure and by encouraging those with ice huts to volunteer to register their hut in the meantime.
Gull lake our neighbouring community has adopted our "take it off" program for their lake and is looking forward to the successful reporting of the results this spring.
New signs also went up this year at all entrance points around the lake. This was required as some signs were vandalized last season. Also, this provided the committee with the opportunity of matching our signage with our take it off brochure.
This is an Election Year
As you all know, 2017 is an election year for Alberta municipalities. For the majority of Alberta municipalities, the election date is scheduled and already set for October 16, 2017. For the Summer Villages, there is some flexibility but the elections must be held during the summer months.
In addition, your Council will be holding an Information Session to provide interested residents with the opportunity of learning more about municipal politics, including some of the roles, requirements and responsibilities of elected councillors and their relationship with Administration. Members of both your Council and your Administration Team including our Chief Administration Officer (CAO), Phyllis Forsyth, will be making brief presentations about their roles and will be available to answer your questions.
Various dates related to the Sunbreaker Cove municipal election for 2017 and our Annual Information Meeting appear below:
May 27th, 2017 – Council and Administration will host an Information Session for all interested parties. Further details such as venue and times will be made available as plans firm up.
June 10th, 2017 – Nomination Day. Those interested in seeking a position on Council must file their papers with all supporting documents at the Summer Village (SV) office. I encourage all interested parties to obtain the details directly from our SV office. There have been numerous changes made to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) of Alberta and the best most current source for accurate information is our CAO.
June 17th, 2017 – Advanced Polling Date. For those unable to cast a ballot on the formal election day, advance polling is permitted on this day. Also, Council has made provisions with the passage of a By-Law allowing voting to be done by ratepayers in absentia. Once again, I encourage you to obtain this information directly from our CAO at the SV office.
June 24th, 2017 – Annual Information Meeting. Because of the large turnout and success of last year's meeting which was held in June, Council decided to keep this later date for this year's meeting.
July 8, 2017 – Election Day. Our formal elections polling station will once again be at our SV office.
Hopefully the above will assist in your scheduling of visits to our Summer Village.
Thanks very much.
Bill Carr, Mayor
To read previous newsletter please click here