The municipality is applying to the provincial government’s LocalMotion program to help fund the Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail.
The trail will be a multi-use trail, similar to Whistler’s Valley Trail, starting at the waterfront in Squamish and going north through Whistler, Pemberton, Mount Currie and D’Arcy up to Anderson Lake.
The trail will be built in phases, with the first phase between Squamish and Whistler. Frank Savage, planner for the municipality, said during Monday’s council meeting that planners expect to complete this section by 2010.
Savage also said that the Resort Municipality of Whistler is only responsible for building the section of the trail within municipal boundaries.
“The Sea to Sky project that is in the five year financial plan is strictly within the boundaries of the RMOW,” said Savage.
“It will complete the Function Junction to Spring Creek section of the Valley Trail… and then the trail will extend south from the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood to the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park boundary.”
In addition, the LocalMotion funding will allow the RMOW to complete the section of the Valley Trail from Nicklaus North to the east side of Green Lake at the northern municipal boundary, said Savage.
The municipality will also apply to the LocalMotion program for six other projects: two Valley Trail projects and four improved accessibility projects.
“Last year we applied for six programs that were unsuccessful, but we have had the opportunity to update them,” said Savage.
The LocalMotion program, launched in 2006, provides $40 million over four years for capital projects in B.C. that reduce community greenhouse gas emissions, improve accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities and support community actions to advance the government’s ActNow B.C. program. The province has agreed to provide up to 50 per cent of funding of approved projects, with up to $1 million being granted per year per municipality.
Council asks for more WHA involvement in housing projects
During Monday’s council meeting, Councillor Gord McKeever spearheaded a discussion on greater involvement of the Whistler Housing Authority in developing housing projects.
“Over the last couple of years, we have considered housing projects in rapid succession, and in terms of the advisory committees that we have for council, there is a gap,” said McKeever.
“What I have been trying over the last couple of years is to insert the WHA into the due process and get a sense of the livability of these projects.”