Some early details regarding Whistler's 2018 budget have been revealed ahead of the budget open house to be held on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Maury Young Arts Centre.
Draft materials posted to www.whistler.ca/budget show an outline of spending over the coming years, though the Resort Municipality of Whistler said information about tax increases would have to wait until the open house Thursday night.
The 2018 proposed-project list details $40.3 million in spending, more than half of it directed at Infrastructure Services.
Some big-ticket standouts for 2018 include $3.2 million for fleet replacement, $2.8 million for the artificial turf field at Bayly Park, $2.2 million to upgrade the Emerald Water System, $2.4 million for sewer main replacement, $1.46 million for community wildfire protection, $1.24 million for Village Square rejuvenation, $1.65 million for road upgrades and $1.6 million to upgrade Day Lot 5.
NOTABLE PROJECT SPENDING BY DIVISION (2018)
• $15,000 for BC Energy Step Code policy development. The Step Code is a voluntary provincial standard enacted last year aimed at providing a consistent approach to creating more energy efficient buildings that go beyond the BC Building Code.
• $20,000 for a First Nations Cultural Liaison
• $125,000 to host the 2018 Union of BC Municipalities convention
• $1,461,930 for Community Wildfire Protection
CAO TOTAL: $2,134,125
• $50,000 for UNESCO Geopark designation. Currently only two in Canada, declaring Whistler an UNESCO Geopark would place added recognition on its natural values, combining conservation with sustainable development.
• $958,000 for the Cultural Connector. The scenic pathway linking Whistler's six key cultural institutions will receive further upgrades in 2018 pending budget approval.
• $2,815,000 for the artificial turf field at Bayly Park. The long-debated project will finally break ground this year in Cheakamus Crossing. The RMOW has yet to confirm what type of infill will be used.
• $960,000 for Gateway Loop reconstruction. One of last year's biggest projects carries on in 2018 with an almost $1 million spend.
• $200,000 for sidewalks in Function Junction. Stakeholders in Whistler's increasingly busy light industrial neighbourhood have been calling for sidewalks since 2013, and it looks like 2018 will finally be the year.
• $1,610,000 to upgrade Day Lot 5. Plans for the gravel lot include paving, line painting, lights and enhancements to the nearby Valley Trail.
• $120,000 in support of the Transportation Advisory Group. Money will be spent on traffic studies and initiatives that arise from TAG recommendations.
CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
• $155,000 for wildfire protection
• $150,000 to expand the cardio room at the Meadow Park Sports Centre (followed by another $1,210,000-spend in 2019)
• $160,000 for the Sea to Sky Evacuation Transportation Plan
2018 PROPOSED PROJECTS TOTAL: $40,310,713
Further details on proposed projects will be revealed at the open house on Feb. 22.