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Council Briefs

Whistler still plans to help Nias



Nias Island, devastated by the December 26 tsunami, will need $468 million in reconstruction and Whistler is planning to help.

That help will be delivered through a program developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Most likely Whistler will provide help and guidance in development policies and procedures for effective governance.

Earlier this year Mayor Hugh O’Reilly and Deputy Administrator Bill Barratt met with Indonesian Consul General, Bunyan Saptomo, who indicated that they would welcome Whistler’s help on their ravaged island.

Nias Island, a surfer’s paradise in Indonesia, was chosen as a Whistler partner half way around the world with the help of local businessman and Indonesian native Jay Wahono.

The FCM response program is still under development but once that program is up and running Whistler will develop a plan to help Nias.

More answers before giving staff signing powers

Council is hesitant to transfer powers to a staff member which allows him to sign event sponsorship agreements up to $100,000.

On Monday night council was presented with a delegation bylaw which would have allowed the municipality’s manager of strategic alliances and marketing services to sign for pricey sponsorships.

Deputy Administrator Bill Barratt explained that sometimes the municipality needs to sign deals on a tight timeline, which can make getting the mayor’s and municipal clerk’s signature a bit tricky.

Despite that explanation council wanted more details on the sponsorship guidelines. There was also a suggestion that the Deputy Administrator’s signature be added to any deal.

Both the resort municipality and Whistler Events Bureau, of which RMOW is a partner, sign sponsorship deals for a number of events in the resort.

Council has asked that the delegation bylaw come back to them with more information before they award signing powers.

Municipal budget awarded

Last year’s $45 million municipal budget got a nod of recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

For the second year in a row the Resort Municipality of Whistler was honoured with a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2004-2008 Five-Year Financial Plan.

The honour comes after the plan ranked high in four distinct categories – as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

In addition to highlighting municipal priorities and goals, the budget also outlines external economic conditions affecting the resort and projects figures for the oncoming five years.

John Nelson, general manager of corporate services, and Lisa Landry, manager of fiscal planning, received certificates of recognition for their work.

This year’s 2005-2009 plan was adopted by council last month. The latest budget weaves together the financial information for the next five years as well as Whistler 2020, the resorts’ community-wide sustainable development plan for the next 15 years.

Open house for Zen lands proposal

A development company will present their vision for 77 acres of land north of Function Junction at an upcoming open house.

OKA Holdings Inc. sees potential for a resident restricted housing community on the Alpha Creek lands (also known as the Zen lands), some small commercial uses, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and a potential pedestrian overpass to the Spring Creek neighbourhood.

In addition, they plan to preserve a large majority of the wetlands in the area.

"Contrary to public impression… the site is not all sensitive wetlands," states the preliminary rezoning submission report.

The developers plan to preserve or enhance 75 per cent of the site and want some areas to be put in an environmental trust.

The open house will be held on Tuesday June 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. It will take place in the Raven Room of the Delta Village Suites.