Jasper Projects Ltd.'s work for the municipality on the asphalt plant's relocation is not a conflict of interest despite the company's involvement with Whistler Aggregates Ltd. last year, Whistler's chief administrative officer said last week.
"They are not related, not in my view, anyway," Bill Barratt said May 10 when asked about Jasper Projects' work for the municipality, that resulted in a report released in March, and for Whistler Aggregates Ltd.'s rezoning application in November.
Barratt said the man behind Jasper Projects Ltd., Brian Martin, has also worked with the corporation charged with building the athletes' village.
"Brian was working with WDC (Whistler Development Corporation) as a consultant," explained Barratt. "He is actually on their payroll, so he is familiar with the area. He has done work up in Whistler for many years and he is familiar with the zoning process."
The chief administrative officer said he recommended Jasper Projects to the owner of Whistler Aggregates, Frank Silveri, because Silveri was not familiar with the zoning process.
"He (Silveri) didn't know how to go about it, so we gave him a couple of names," said Barratt. "He talked to Brian, and Brian gave him a hand in how to put it together."
Jasper Projects worked with the Cascade Environmental Resource Group Ltd. during the asphalt plant's rezoning process last fall. Specifically, in the environmental review presented to council in November, Martin is listed as an acting agent for Whistler Aggregates, who enlisted the help of Cascade Environmental to conduct the initial environmental review.
The rezoning application caused 100 angry homeowners to demand something be done about the active asphalt plant next to their Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood. The first residents will move into Cheakamus Crossing this fall.
Responding to the pressure, council and staff agreed to put together a consultant report to look at ways to move the mobile quarry.
Jasper Projects was also behind that relocation report, putting together the information with contributions from Planimetrix Design Groups Inc., A. Lanfranco and Associates Inc. and Ross Nogami from Air Quality Studies.
Barratt added he chose Jasper Project to put together the Alpine Paving Plant Proposed Relocation report because it came up right before the Olympics.
"It was right before the Games when all of this was going on, and the fact was we couldn't do this internally," said Barratt. "I asked Brian to work with James (Hallisey, manager of environmental projects) and the consultant, so he was really just the coordinator."