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Council workshop sets three-year focus



Whistler’s council has set the Whistler. It’s Our Future and the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan as one their top priorities during their term in office.

The recently elected council members set out their top priorities for their three years in office as public officials during a February workshop.

Topping the list was the completion of the CSP as well as dedicating the resources and energy to ensure the CSP is completed in a timely manner.

There was an understanding among council that once the CSP is complete in the next year, they would then revisit these priorities.

Also on the list of top priorities is affordability and affordable housing, with a proposed goal of creating 500 additional short-term beds within three years.

Financial sustainability was another priority. This involves supporting a legislative framework which includes looking for additional revenue sources to allow Whistler to manage its own priorities and finances.

Finally, council has pinpointed strengthening their provincial relationships as another key priority during their term in office.

This goal specifically targeted building on the relationship with Whistler’s MLA, Ted Nebbeling, as well as finalizing the Lasting Legacies from the province and resolving the use of the day skier parking lots.

"We’re definitely going to get things done once we get the budget in place," said Councillor Caroline Lamont.

The municipal budget is going before council at the May 5 meeting. There will then be a special meeting to adopt to budget before the May 15 deadline.

Creekside construction gets early start

Council has approved an early weekday start for construction work in Creekside.

Intrawest can now begin work one hour earlier on weekdays, with a 7 a.m. start. On the weekend, construction must begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Work is allowed to continue until 10 p.m. each night.

The Christmas deadline for construction of the multi-level parkade and the Franz’s Trail development is tight and Intrawest has been granted similar noise variances in the past.

Councillor Nick Davies said he remembered getting complaints about the noise variance when Intrawest was building First Tracks.

He said there was no rationale for an early morning start except that Intrawest wants to get more work done at the expense of the neighbourhood.

Both Davies and Councillor Caroline Lamont did not support the early morning start.

Council granted the noise variance on the condition that Intrawest adheres to neighbourhood issues.

Grants-in-aid for 2003

The 2003 draft municipal budget allowed council to grant $327,000 to various local organizations through Grant-In-Aid funding this month.

Not all the groups who applied for funding were granted money.

There were 26 applications this year which totalled over $700,000.

The $327,000, which is 1.5 per cent of property tax revenues, was divided between the following 22 groups in 2003:

AWARE $15,000

Jennifer Jones Bear Foundation $15,000

Whistler Naturalist's Society $5,000

Dandelion Daycare - Spring Creek $2,500

Dandelion Daycare - Whistler Children's Centre $2,500

Sea to Sky Community Services Society $11,990

Whistler Health Care Foundation $3,000

Communities That Care Whistler $22,910

Zero Ceiling Society of Canada $10,000

Girl Guides of Canada $2,300

Whistler Animals Galore $40,000

Whistler Secondary School Scholarship $2,000

Whistler Scout Group $1,500

Whistler Fire Fighter Association $2,000

Whistler Youth Soccer $3,300

Whistler Skating Club $4,000

Whistler Off Road Cycling Association $11,200

Whistler Mountain Ski Club $7,500

Whistler Children's Chorus $2,000

Whistler Community Arts Council $95,500

Whistler Museum and Archives $65,000

Whistler Secondary School Drama $2,800

Last year council handed out roughly $280,000 in grants-in-aid from the general revenue source.

At Monday’s meeting Councillor Gordon McKeever also asked staff to develop a more sustainable model for the grants-in-aid process. He would like staff to look at alternative sources besides general revenue for the grant process.