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Council briefs: Final Olympic budget coming in June



Accountants at Whistler's Olympic office are sharpening their pencils and preparing to draft the municipality's final financial report for the Games.

Michele Comeau, manager of communications, said the report will be presented to council in June.

So far the Olympic expenses are tracking as outlined in the Investing in the Dream document, which estimated a cost of $8.7 million to Whistler for the Games plus operation costs, said Comeau.

"What is new, and very good news, is that the municipality has entered into an agreement with the province for up to $3,348,000 to assist Whistler with incremental and extraordinary costs associated with Games-time operations..." said Comeau.

"The costs are tracking well and although final budgeting has not been done, it is anticipated that Whistler will not need the full amount contained in the agreement."

Operations costs include snow clearing, village maintenance and transportation.

Comeau added that extra police services in Whistler were funded through the Vancouver Integrated Security Unit.

Buns on the Run coming to Meadow Park

A new food operator is moving into Meadow Park Sports Centre in April to man the concession stand.

Following approval from council Tuesday, Denise Hughes will open up Buns on the Run café, where she will sell hot dogs, salads, pitas, sandwiches and snacks.

All food items will be priced below $8.

"Staff were generally pleased to receive a very comprehensive proposal from a very experienced and passionate proponent," said Roger Weetman, manager of recreational services.

"There will be a good variety of food selection at a reasonable price."

The previous food operator at Meadow Park told the municipality last fall that they would not be interested in extending their contract. Their contract expired on Feb. 6.

Hughes, who has been in the food business for 20 years, was the only one who responded to the municipality's two requests for proposals.


Council makes cyberspace debut

Whistler residents can now watch public council meetings from the comfort of their home.

On Tuesday night, Mayor Ken Melamed announced that the municipality will start streaming their bi-monthly meetings in real time at

"We are still in the experimental stages, but I think it is a good addition and a way for the community to stay appraised of the work we are doing," said the mayor.

The move is one of the ways the municipality is now tapping into cyberspace.

The municipality has started following community discussions on Facebook, such as the Cheakamus Crossing homeowner's group, as well as creating their own groups for events like Whistler Live.

Twitter is also a social media tool the municipality is testing. During the Games, the RMOW posted updates under the name "Whistler2010com," and Mayor Ken Melamed under "whistlermayor."


More funds needed for Olympic parking lot

Council wants the Vancouver Organizing Committee to provide more money to replant one of the parking lots used during the Olympics.

Council agreed this week to write a letter to VANOC to get their point across.

"Some of the parking lots that were created in Whistler include an extension or enlargement of the Brandywine snowmobile parking lots adjacent to the compost facility and waste treatment plant," explained Councillor Eckhard Zeidler, who serves on Whistler's Forest and Wildlife Committee.

"There was an agreement that was struck with the Cheakamus Community Forest board that that lot would be restored to its previous condition so that it once again could be an operable timber growing area."

Unfortunately, said Zeidler, it has become fairly clear that the parking lot required very large amounts of landfill, making it much more difficult to replant.

"The funds VANOC will be providing will be nowhere near sufficient to grow product timber on that site again," he said.

The Cheakamus Community Forest board has also drafted a letter to send to VANOC with the request.



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