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function recycles

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The new Function Junction compactor site, including eight recycling igloos and a re-use it centre, has ballooned from a $150,000 project to about $350,000. However, municipal staff say preliminary estimates for the work did not take into account the number of storm drains the site will require, as well as other factors. "The budget was low," Brian Barnett, manager of environmental services for the municipality, told council Monday. "There’s an extra $40,000-$50,000 in pipe work and subdivision was not complete when we did the budget. We’ve found out we have a bigger site than anticipated." The low bid received for upgrading the site was $227,421. Even the surplus funds in the public works department’s 1998 capital budget were not sufficient to cover the deficit, so council authorized a transfer of $105,000 from the prior year’s operating surplus to the 1998 capital budget. Councillor Kristi Wells questioned the value of the project at its revised price. "This project will be close to half a million dollars by the time it’s finished. I’m not sure it’s a priority. "I thought it was a good plan for $150,000." However, others suggested the current Function Junction compactor site was in desperate need of an upgrade. Administrator Jim Godfrey also pointed out a municipal consultant has reviewed the contractor’s bid price and determined it was appropriate given the scope of the work. Work on the new compactor site began on Tuesday. The site will be accessed via Lynham Road, a new road being built parallel to the railroad tracks in Function. John Nelson, director of public works, told council there will be greater efficiencies in building the compactor site now, while BC Hydro and Ministry of Highways personnel are working on Lynham Road and the traffic light that is being installed at Alpha Lake Road and Highway 99. The new compactor site will include a sani dump for recreational vehicles. A building to house a re-use it centre will also be part of the site, but the re-use it centre itself will not open until next spring. Whistler Community Services Society will operate the re-use it centre and has received operating funds from the Whistler/Blackcomb Foundation and the Festival of Lights. The compactor site should be finished by the end of November.

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