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Athletes' village loan now reduced to $91.7 million

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The Whistler Development Corporation's $100 million loan to build the athletes' village should be almost paid off by October, Eric Martin announced on Tuesday night.

The president of the Whistler Development Corporation told council the loan now sits at $91.7 million and should be down to $16 million or less in September.

"We are going to knock off the vast majority of the debt by October," he added. "And November 2011 is our target to pay off the loan."

WDC borrowed the $100 million in early 2008 from the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) to help them construct the athletes' village and Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood.

The money was designed to cover the gap between when the neighbourhood was constructed in 2008 ad 2009 and when all the resident-restricted and market units were sold, by 2012.

The competitive MFA interest rate on the loan is approximately 1.085 per cent.

"The fact is we have a cushion in that the MFA loan isn't called until 2011," said Mayor Ken Melamed. "The good news is the majority of the loan will be paid off by this fall. What is remaining we will have at a low interest rate a year from this November. We are in a comfortable position."

 

Council cracks down on Crankworx concerts

Partygoers planning to enjoy live tunes during Crankworx take note: the Deraylor concerts will end promptly at 2 a.m.

On Tuesday night, council unanimously voted against a proposal to let four nightclubs keep their doors open for an extra hour between Aug. 11 and 13. Managers at Garfinkel's, Maxx Fish, Moe Joe's and Tommy Africa's hoped to stay open until 3 a.m. as they host musicians for the Deraylor Music Festival.

Council's main issues with the extra hour were late night noise and the $8,800 additional policing costs.

"If bands could start an hour earlier, I think we could make this happen," said Councillor Grant Lamont. "I don't think the 2 a.m. closing will put the festival in jeopardy of not being successful. I have so many e-mails of people that are brining their young kids this year. That is where we are trying to grow."

Added Melamed: "I am not convinced that even with more police, we could get to a safer village.

"I am quite concerned about safety. I actually think we have the appropriate balance now, and we have been struggling with that mix... I know my son has experienced the unsafe nature of the village and that is quite scary, as a parent."

Confirmed artists for the summer music festival include DJ Nu-Mark from Jurassic 5, Mike Relm and BCDC.

Last year was the first year of the Deraylor festival, and no venues received extended hours.

In the past, though, council has granted late night extensions for festivals like the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival and the Winter Pride Whistler Gay and Lesbian Ski Week.

Cheakamus North still jumping through hoops

Council opposed developer Tim Regan's latest proposal for his Cheakamus North development Tuesday night.

Regan, from Vision West Development Ltd., had hoped to add two more houses to his Stonebridge-like project near the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood in exchange for a $250,000 donation to the Re-Built It Centre.

Currently Regan has permission to build three large market homes.

"The deal I originally negotiated was not able to be completed," said Regan. "What I would like is for the municipality to recognize that this could be a win-win scenario, and this is the format I would like it to look like."

Regan explained council gave him third reading to build four market units on that land in 2007. But, six months later, the municipality advised him that they would not be able to deliver on the bylaw as drafted.

To keep the bank's security intact, Vision West proceeded with a rezoning application for three lots and a municipal park. Regan has also since built one-third of the connecting road.

"This is probably the most complicated and expensive road ever built in Whistler," said Regan.

Now, he says five large market homes would make the project viable.

Despite his request, council voted 5-1 to go with municipal staff's recommendation to work on an application that would see small resident-restricted units rolled into the zoning. Councillor Ralph Forsyth was opposed.

 

 

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