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RMOW once again applies for Alta Lake Road sewer funding

Four projects submitted to UBCM for gas tax funds

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Residents on the west side of Whistler have not been forgotten, though it may feel that way sometimes.

Once again the municipality is applying for federal funding to get Alta Lake Road, home to some of the oldest Whistler residences, hooked in to the sewer service.

It's a $3.8 million project, one that the homeowners on the west side of Alta Lake have been clamouring for over several years.

"We're just delighted that this new mayor and council are actually doing something and trying to facilitate by getting grants to have a sewer," said resident Gay Cluer, who has long lobbied to have Alta Lake Road hooked into the sewage system.

Over the past decade the municipality has applied for federal or provincial funds for the project six times, to no avail.

Council is hoping to be successful this time around in applying to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) for funding assistance under the Gas Tax Agreement — an agreement which sees the federal excise tax on gas funneled back into local governments.

Whistler, as per the guidelines, has submitted four projects for funding — two capital projects and two capacity-building projects.

In addition to the sewer project, the municipality is looking for funding for a $1.2 million groundwater supply well.

According to the staff report to council:

"Due to rapid growth of the community over the past two decades, and the success of our expansion into summer resort activities, we have a long-running deficiency in our water supply system.

"The addition of a final groundwater supply source will reduce our dependence on surface water from 21 Mile Creek, thereby improving the quality and security of the water supply for our Resort Community."

Engineers are now studying the best location and volume of the new well.

The two capacity-building projects lined up for funding are: a community-monitoring program at an annual cost of $100,000. The municipality is applying for three years of funding. This program will allow the municipality to benchmark data that will identify trends in tourism and the community.

The final project is a $50,000 Liquid Waste Management Plan update. The municipality must update its liquid waste plan every five years looking at the treatment plant's discharge, storm water management and water conservation, among other things. It is now three years overdue for this update.

The Gas Tax Fund looks to meet three goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air and cleaner water.

The fund will deliver just over $1.6 billion in funding to B.C. up to 2015.

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