Regarding the clarification in both the Pique and Question newspapers on the reporting on the budget over runs on the composting facility.
From a story printed in the Pique on Aug. 8th, 2007, “Diana Waltmann, information officer for RMOW, said the overall capital costs for the purchase of the machine and the construction of the new facility is estimated at $6 million”. At that time, no one from the RMOW clarified that the budget was $6 million, plus an additional $3 million for assumed leases for infrastructure on the project.
By the middle of October 2007, two months later, the project budget had risen to $12.5 million, a more than 100 per cent increase (or if you include the un-mentioned $3 million lease, a 72 per cent budget increase). Recently, the budget has risen to $13.8 million. When you consider that the cost of the technology bought from Carney’s, the original owners of the composting plant, was $1.8 million, plus the assumption of the $3 million in leases, then that means the cost of installing the composting plant has risen from $4.2 million to $9 million in less than 10 months. So far, the only explanation given for the cost over runs has been the increase in labour and materials costs.
By any reasonable standard, the costs of this project have gone completely out of control, and worse yet, show an appalling lack of transparency.
‘Profiling’ doesn’t fit
While there is consensus that something should be done to curb violence in Whistler, I do not believe prejudicial comments made in recent letters to the editor should be left unanswered.
I strongly believe ignorant statements such as “we need to put a gate just outside of Function and start doing some ‘profiling’ on long weekends” (Letters to the editor, Pique, May 29) do not reflect the opinions of the friends and families who welcomed me, a visible minority, to the community back in 1996. Yes, the community needs to find solutions to reduce criminal activity, however, equating an entire ethnic race to thugs or gangsters demonstrates a lack of judgment.
The irony of the statement “…this is a resort with a reputation that can easily be tainted.” (Letters to the editor, Pique, May 29) is not lost on those residents who will distance themselves from ignorance, and seek action in a manner that does not taint Whistler’s image.