News » Whistler

Party planned for return of Sunday library openings



Whistler is welcoming Sunday re-openings at the library in grand style — with an official party.

The celebration is set to take place on the first open Sunday — April 14.

At 11 a.m. the community is invited to the library for food, drinks, and a chance to share what they love about the library.

Library hours thereafter will include Sundays from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

"Council, staff, and the library board have received significant feedback from residents and visitors about library hours, and I am happy that Sunday re-opening is an outcome of the 2013 municipal budget process," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

"The library is an important community facility and service provider for residents, second homeowners, seasonal workers, and visitors, and the community will be thrilled with this increased level of service."

A $60,000 library budget increase, which got final approval at this week's council meeting as the Five Year Financial Plan was adopted, has paved the way for seven-day-a-week programming once again.

Meanwhile, municipal staff is proposing that the end-of-trip facility in the library parkade, which has never been operational, now be converted to accommodate the village maintenance facility.

The current facility will be moving to make way for the Audain Art Museum and the library site was chosen as the best location to stage staff dispatch, keep some workshop supplies and some storage in order to maintain a cost effective and efficient delivery of service.

Council expressed some concerns with the move, questioning if it was the best location and best use of the facility in the long term. Council also questioned why the end-of-trip facility was never made operational for the library. It's not clear why it has remained vacant.

Despite some of the questions, the first step in the rezoning was unanimously approved. A public hearing will follow.

Defibrillator at Meadow Park used to resuscitate hockey player

A local hockey player in the old-timers league, playing for Tapley's, was resuscitated last week with a portable defibrillator.

The player was found by his teammates slumped over and without a pulse after a game Wednesday night March 13. Players found the portable machine at Meadow Park, were able to use it while they called the paramedics, and the player was rushed to St. Paul's.

"I would like to acknowledge the team players," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in her Mayor's Report at the council meeting, as she also acknowledged the fact that there are two defibrillator units at the sports centre.

Councillor John Grills also added an update saying that he had run into a team member who said the player was recovering and expected to be released from hospital this week.

Meadow Park fees set

After months of community consultation, a final fee schedule for the Meadow Park Sports Centre has been given the nod, with drop-in fees ultimately remaining the same this year.

There will, however, be a program fee surcharge of 33 per cent for most programs for non-residents coming into effect in the fall of 2013.

"The fee designed to keep the rates the same, or lower for 2013, with the goal of driving more traffic to MPSC and, therefore, increasing revenue," states the report to council.

The rate changes come at a handy time — with the repeal of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), Whistler will be remitting just five per cent of the tax to senior levels of government as opposed to 12 per cent.

"We're absolutely not hiding behind the HST change," said Roger Weetman, manager of recreation. "We're leveraging that."

Other changes include replacing the Friday Toonie Night with a Tuesday and Friday 50 per cent night, effective May 1. Council also agreed to make the Grade 5 and Grade 10 free pass an ongoing program.

Drop in rates will be going up by 25 cents to $8.25 in 2014 but only two years of fee changes are proposed at this time. The strategy will then be re-evaluated.

The fee changes in 2013 are expected to bring in roughly $40,000 in incremental revenue.

Council gave first three readings to the bylaws and will consider adopting them at a later date.