Summer Village of Sunset Beach
- Planning & Development
- Current Events
- Zebra Mussels
The Summer Village of Sunset Beach is a small municipality located approximately 165 KM north of Edmonton, Alberta on the South East shore of Baptiste Lake. Baptiste Lake is a medium-sized lake located within the County of Athabasca in central Alberta. Sunset Beach is located approximately sixteen kilometres west of the town of Athabasca.
Baptiste Lake has two basins joined by the Narrows. Both basins are similar in size; the deepest area of the south basin is approximately 28 m, whereas the north basin is shallow at about 16 m deep.
The lake was named after Baptiste Majeau, an early Metis settler in the area. The first permanent native settlement on Baptiste
Lake was established in the 1880's by a group of people from Saskatchewan. They lived on long, narrow lake-front lots.
In the early 1900's farming had begun in the area surrounding the Lake, and by 1930 most of the land that was not already settled was available for homesteaders.
Baptiste Lake is a good setting for power boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing and canoeing. Snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing are enjoyed during the winter months. The area around the Lake is a conservationists paradise, with rolling hills and forests filled with wildlife including deer, moose, and many other birds and animals.
The Summer Village of Sunset Beach is a is a combination of full time residents and part time enthusiasts who all share their love for the lake. The residents are proud of the serenity of the lake, and encourage all residents and visitors to take care of the lake they love.
Website Revised 2015-12-31
Aerial Photo of Baptiste Lake taken in the Fall.
The decision making body for the Summer Village is a municipal Council consisting of three Councilors who were elected in 2013 for a four year term.
- A Council is responsible for
- developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the municipality;
- making sure that the powers, duties and functions of the municipality are appropriately carried out;
- carrying out the powers, duties and functions expressly given to it under the Municipal Government Act or Summer Village Bylaw.
- A Council must not exercise a power or function or perform a duty that is by this or another enactment or bylaw specifically assigned to the chief administrative officer or a designated officer.
Mayor Mark Lindskoog
The Mayor is the chief elected official of the municipality and has duties of both councilor and chief elected official.
General duties of Chief Elected Official (Mayor):
Deputy Mayor Morris Nesdole
General duties of the Deputy Mayor:
The Deputy Mayor, in addition to performing the duties of a councilor has the responsibility for presiding as the chief elected official in the absence of the Mayor.
Councilor Gordon Shopland
Councilors have the following duties:
Chief Administrative Officer Wendy Wildman.
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Summer Village is appointed by, and reports to, Council. The CAO is responsible for the overall administration of the Summer Village.The responsibilities of the CAO include overseeing municipal operations and ensuring Council's priorities and strategic directions are achieved. In addition, the CAO is charged with keeping Council up to date on corporate matters and ensuring that Council policy is implemented and bylaws are enforced.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
Summer Village of Sunset Beach -- Information for residents:
An information kit for residents of the Summer Village can be downloaded here: Download
Health Advisories for Blue-green Algae. Alberta Health officials change public warnings about dangerous algae blooms in Alberta lakes.
Summer Village Council Minutes Archive:
2014 Council Minutes Archive Download
2010 to 2013 Council Minutes Archive Download
Formation of Foam on shores of Water Bodies.
The following article by Ron Zurawell provides information on the formation of foam along shorelines of Alberta Lakes. Foam on Water Bodies.
Credit: Dr. Ron Zurawell, Ph.D., P.Biol. Limnologist/Water Quality Specialist, Alberta Environment
Summer Village Sewage Committee:
A Committee of Summer Village residents was formed in the Spring of 2011 with a mandate from Council to obtain input from property owners, Environmental Organizations, other Municipalities, Wastewater Specialists and Government on what can be done to mitigate detrimental effects of inadequate Septic Systems, Wastewater Management and Sanitation within Municipal Boundaries.
The Committee held several public meetings, conducted their research and prepared a report containing recommendations to Council. Their report can be downloaded here: Download
In October of 2012 Council hired a private contractor to conduct an inventory of Private Sewage systems within Municipal boundaries. The purpose of the inventory is to create a record of private sewage systems in the Summer Village. The intent of the inventory is to ultimately identify systems that may be deleterious to public health and/or the environment.
A proposed Sewage Bylaw was given first reading during a Council meeting held on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The Bylaw requires second and third reading before enactment. Summer Village property owners are urged to review the Bylaw and submit any recommendations/comments to members of Council.
Proposed Sewage Bylaw Download
Summer 2015 Newsletter Download
Winter 2015 Newsletter Download
Spring 2014 Newsletter Download
Spring 2013 Newsletter Download
Winter 2013 Newsletter Download
Fall 2012 Letter to Property Owners Download
Spring 2012 Summer Village Newsletter Download
Spring 2011 Summer Village Newsletter. Download
Spring 2011 FireSmart Newsletter. Download
2010 Winter Newsletter. Download
Whispering Hills Transfer/Landfill Hours of Operation. Download
"Respect our Lakes" an Alberta Government Web site with important information. http://environment.alberta.ca/03036.html
2014 Financial Statement Download
2013 Financial Statement Download
2012 Financial Statement Download
2011 Financial Statement. Download
2010 Financial Statement. Download
Land Use Zoning:
All Municipalities are required to enact a Land Use Bylaw providing for Land Use Zoning. This essentially classifies the type of development allowed on a parcel of land and contains rules for setback distances from property boundaries, total percentage of lot area covered by buildings, maximum height of buildings and other matters relative to development. Please consult the Summer Village of Sunset Beach Land Use Bylaw for details.
This bylaw contains the rules and regulations for the development of land in the Summer Village.
Land Use Bylaw:
The Summer Village of Sunset Beach issues Development Permits under the auspices of the Land Use Bylaw.
Sunset Beach Land Use Bylaw: Download
Development Permit Application Form. Download
Permit Application Forms: (Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Gas & Sewage)
Permits for the foregoing disciplines are available from the Inspections Group in Edmonton who conduct inspections on behalf of the Summer Village which is accredited under the Alberta Safety Codes Act.
Download Application Forms from: http://www.inspectionsgroup.com/?p=permit_applications
Development Permits Issued:
For more information:
4812 - 51 Street
Community FireSmart Program
The threat of wildfire is always imminent in communities if preventative measures are not taken into consideration, planned, and implemented in advance. As more new developments grow in forested areas and new dwellings are built in natural areas, the public should be aware of and united against the problems related to wildfire. There should be an awareness of preventative actions that can be taken in advance to supplement the efforts of organized firefighting services.
Forest and prairie wildfires are capable of spreading at an astonishing rate. Crowning wildfires often spread at rates of 7 kilometres per hour, and can potentially send embers as far as 2 kilometres ahead of the fire. Wind-blown prairie fires can travel at speeds in excess of 10 kilometres per hour.
In Alberta, 50 per cent of wildfires are caused by human activity. The remaining 50 per cent are sparked naturally by lightning.
Over the last 10 years, an average of 1,300 wildfires a year have burned 210,000 hectares of forest annually in Alberta. Wildfires have forced the evacuation of thousands of people from their communities, and have even destroyed homes.
If you live in or near a forested area, you may be more likely to encounter a wildfire. The best way to protect yourself against loss, damage or injury is to practice FireSmart principles on your property.
By following the FireSmart Home Owner’s Manual, you can help reduce that risk.
Download the Spring 2014 FireSmart Newsletter.
Download the Spring 2013 FireSmart Newsletter.
Download the Spring 2012 FireSmart Newsletter.
Regional FireSmart Plan
This FireSmart Plan identifies the potential risk of wildfire to the communities within the Forest Protection Area in the Athabasca County and provides recommendations to minimize that risk through the use of vegetation management, development control, legislation, public education, interagency cooperation, and emergency planning initiatives.
In 2003 supported by the Athabasca County, the Summer Villages, Hamlets and Country Residential Subdivisions Sustainable Resource Development completed a FireSmart Plan covering communities around Baptiste Lake, Crooked Lake, Island Lake, recreation areas and club facilities around Narrow and Long Lakes. This original 2003 FireSmart Plan also included the hamlets of Breynat and Wandering River.
The FireSmart plan will provide a working document to assist elected officials, municipal staff, emergency responders, land managers and local residents to plan and implement FireSmart initiatives within the communities around Baptiste Lake and in Athabasca County.
Baptiste Lake Wildfire Presuppression Plan for Baptiste Lake. Baptiste Lake Presuppression Plan 2012
FireSmart Flammable Fuel Reduction -- Sunset Beach
In cooperation with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Sunset Beach has completed Flammable Fuel Reduction in selected areas of the Summer Village. The proposed project is consistent with the Athabasca Regional FireSmart Plan developed by a suitabley qualified consultant in 2011.
Flammable Fuel reduction was conducted in areas within the Summer Village shown on the following Map. 2013 Sunset Beach FireSmart Project
|The Weather Station at the following link is owned and operated by Chris & Donna Taylor who are permanent residents of the Summer Village of South Baptiste. The Weather station is located near the Burger Bar at the South West end of Baptiste Lake.|
|Local Weather at Baptiste Lake.|
Summer Village Council Meeting.
The next meeting of Council is at the call of the Mayor. Contact the Summer Village Administrator for additional details.
Invasive Invaders Invading!
- Gavin Berg & Kate Wilson
(Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development)
With warming temperatures and thawing lakes, there is more on our mind than peaceful weekends at the lake this summer! Aquatic invasive mussel species are knocking on Alberta’s door, threatening to show up at any given time and totally change the ecology of our local lakes and waterbodies.
Hitching a ride between lakes on boats, trailers and unwashed equipment, zebra and quagga mussels of the Dreissenid family are spreading throughout eastern Canada and the western United States at an almost unstoppable rate!
Originally from the Eurasian waters of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, it is believed that they spread to North America through the ballast water of large shipping vessels travelling down the St. Laurence Seaway. Once established in the Great Lakes region, boaters unknowingly helped move the species around the continent, infesting lakes and waterways from southern Ontario to Louisiana and west to Nevada and California. Many lakes and reservoirs across the southwestern United States is now home to quagga and/or zebra mussels.
So what’s the big deal? Imagine your beach having so many shells on it that you had to wear water shoes to prevent your feet from being cut when you go in the water (not to mention the smell of rotting shells). Imagine taking your dock out each year only to find it caked with mussels. Imagine your boat hoist being unusable because the mussels on the pipes prevent the hoist from going up and down. Imagine your potable water supply drying up because the intake pipes are too clogged with mussels. Imagine all of these things and then expand those thoughts to the larger picture. The Government of Alberta is responsible for approximately $8 billion worth of water infrastructure, including hydro electric and irrigation systems. Including the private sector, our water infrastructure is valued at over $14 billion – which does not include annual costs to replace and maintain facilities if mussels were to invade our lakes and rivers. Local industries also have a large stake in the issue. If these systems become fouled with invasive mussels, the amount of resources required to control the problem will be astronomical. These are real threats and one only has to look to our neighbours to the south to see the evidence and damage these species are causing.
To date, there has been no record of the species occurring in Alberta waterways, although there have been several mussel-fouled boats intercepted already this season! Most other jurisdictions have mandatory watercraft inspection stations with the same goal of thwarting a mussel invasion in mind. These inspections stations are incredibly valuable face-to-face educational opportunities as well as a mighty preventative tool. Ensuring that boats are CLEAN, DRAINED, and DRY prevent all kinds of other invasive species from taking up residence in our waters too, Eurasian watermilfoil, New Zealand mudsnails, and Didymo, to name a few. Due to the vast number of boat launches, it usually makes the most sense to set inspection stations up on major highways, which targets the highest risk boaters (who travel with their watercraft or buy them elsewhere) and provides the best safeguard to protecting our lakes.
Zebra and quagga mussels eat by filtering water and removing microscopic organisms. In a water body with a large outbreak of mussels, this filter-feeding can quickly deplete the lake of an important food source for native species in the lake, such as the larval and juvenile stages of sport fish. Additionally, by removing the microscopic organisms the water becomes much clearer. Less turbid water leads to much higher plant growth which wreaks havoc on boaters and changes the delicate balance of the natural ecosystem. Mussels have also been linked to exacerbating algae outbreaks and contributing to large scale bird die-offs due to botulism contamination up the food chain.
The Alberta Government is initiating a program to fortify our borders from the threat of these invasive species. In the summer of 2013, boat inspection stations will be set up at some of our most vulnerable border crossings and a monitoring program will be initiated to ensure that our lakes have not already been infested. In addition, we will have an emergency response in place that will enable us to respond to situations where mussel-fouled boats can be intercepted and properly decontaminated before launching in Alberta lakes.
There are a few simple steps that people can take to prevent aquatic hitchhikers when transferring equipment from one water body to another:
- CLEAN your equipment. Before you leave the access area or dock, remove any plants, mud or debris. When you get home, soak your gear in a 2% bleach solution (20 ml of bleach per 1L of water) for one minute. Wash your boat with warm soapy water.
- DRAIN all the water from your boat and equipment (coolers, live wells, bilges, buckets and ballasts) before leaving the boat launch area.
- DRY your gear completely between trips and allow the wet areas of your boat to air dry.
Spread the word, not the species. Informing water users of the issues surrounding these species and the steps to take to reduce the threat is a major step that we can take to get ahead of the problem. If you or someone you know is bringing a boat in from elsewhere or planning on traveling with their boat, help us spread the word and protect our waters!
Summer Village of Sunset Beach
4812 - 51 Street
Telephone 780 967 5338
Contact Information for Members of Council
Mayor, Mark Lindskoog
Deputy Mayor, Morris Nesdole
Councilor, Gordon Shopland