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capital review

T he accelerated rate of development the last two years has dramatically reduced Whistler's build-out period — effectively it's eight years from now, according to the 1995 Capital Review to Build-out. Director of Finance Drew Stotesbury presented the 1995 Capital Review to council Monday. The review estimates Whistler will be completely built in 12, although build-out will be substantially complete in eight years. The municipality will likely still be building capital projects more than 12 years down the road. The purpose of the Capital Review to Build-out is to estimate capital funding and capital requirements as far as 20 years hence. Stotesbury's 1995 report shows that after five years the cumulative cash balances will total $12.2 million. The 1994 report estimated the five-year balances at $15.2 million. "However, the significant accumulating effect of incremental annual revenues generated from accelerated development have the effect of producing an estimated $15.6 million cumulative cash balance after 20 years, versus $3.2 million in the 1994 plan," Stotesbury writes. Projected capital requirements over 20 years total $142 million, versus $140 million in 1994. But sources of capital funding exceed the 1994 20-year total by approximately $13 million. While the Capital Review is only a guide for budgeting and decision making, the 1995 review suggests a number of changes from previous capital plans, including: increasing funds for miscellaneous road works next year from $113,000 to $250,000; a three-phase upgrade and expansion of the sewage treatment system over seven years using less debt financing than originally anticipated; developing the second floor of the Aquatic centre next year, rather than in 1999; more money for a variety of park projects; two Valley Trail connectors (to Emerald and a bridge across the highway at Nordic Estates) will be built next year; and $100,000 will be provided annually for five years to increase handicap accessibility. For capital projects, such as the sewer upgrade, that have traditionally been partially funded by the province, 50 per cent provincial funding has been budgeted. However, there is no guarantee the province will continue to provide 50 per cent cost sharing on such projects. The cost of the provincially-mandated solid-waste plan, currently in the planning stages, has not been included in the Capital Review, although much of the plan is expected to be self-funded. The Capital Plan allows for a $1 million contribution towards the construction of a permanent cultural facility in 2002.

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