Re: Lot 1/9 Celebration Plaza
In response to last week’s editorial, I agree that despite a very late start, there were lots of opportunities from 2005 to 2007 for public input regarding the future use of Lot 1/9. However, unless I missed a chapter, the community was never asked if it was reasonable or desirable to spend in excess of $14 million to create a four-acre hard surfaced open space in the village.
Since we weren’t able to secure outside
funding for the iconic roof and ice rink, for the foreseeable future, only
Phase 1 will be completed. Phase 1 appears to consist of site clearing,
preparation & servicing, pavers and landscaping, all for the 2010 Games. Not
quite the village centrepiece thought of in the original Eldon Beck plans or
developed through the community Lot 1/9 envisioning process.
According to the RMOW website, only $3 million of the $14.2 million is coming from VANOC. The RMOW has earmarked $6.2 million and is anticipating the rest will come from a Heritage Canada grant. What happened to the Guiding Principles that Whistler Council adopted to support the Olympic Bid? “Ensure the financial exposure to the RMOW is limited.” “Create legacies that have lasting values.”
So it seems simple to me, don’t clear cut Lot 1/9 until we have the funding for a future use. Get VANOC to build whatever temporary facility they can afford on the driving range or on the land between Day Skier Lots 3 and 4. (This land is designated for a large open space park in the Park Master Plan as an extension of Village Park.) Keep the RMOW’s $6.2 million for village enhancement projects or funding free transit. We already have enough hard surface areas in the village to maintain.
A big leap forward
I would just like to thank everybody who came out to support the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program at our annual comedy show this past Friday and Saturday.
For those who weren't fortunate enough to find the time to attend, this year we were lucky enough to have the lovely and talented Marianne Sierk come up from California, and Canada's top male stand up comedian, Peter Kelamis, came up from Vancouver — plus, the usual suspects, Charlie Viracola and myself.
The crowds seemed to enjoy both shows, and we all had a great time performing for them. We look forward to bringing another top rate show back to Whistler next year.