EPI report details spending decisions for coming year 

Council to consider recommendations on October 15

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The culmination of council's work over the last two years is coming to a head.

At its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, council will consider a report from the Economic Partnership Initiative (EPI) Committee that will detail a schedule of spending decisions for the coming year — decisions flowing out of four major reports.

"We're moving into the implementation stage," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. "It's exciting.

"There is, as part of the EPI report, a schedule of spending decisions, including RMI (Resort Municipality Initiative) money and other monies."

For two years, council has been setting the stage for this report.

After the first year finding its feet, getting the municipal budget on track and a second year of looking at the bigger picture and commissioning a series of reports, council is now ready to make some big decisions.

The reports that forms the backbone of its decisions are: the EPI research report, which looks at the ongoing economic success of the resort, the learning and education report, looking at education opportunities, the recreation and leisure master plan report, and the community cultural plan, which looks at arts and cultural opportunities.

In an unprecedented move, the municipality will not be posting the EPI report as part of council agenda package, which is made public the Friday before every meeting.

"I think because it's got so much information in it, we want to really be able to present it in a comprehensive format," said the mayor. "It won't do it justice."

This week council had its third annual retreat to talk about the coming year — the last of its mandate.

Two things became apparent, said the mayor, as the team considered the reports.

The first was the sheer volume of work that has gone into them, particularly the community involvement.

"It truly was a broad-based community effort that went into all four of these reports," said Wilhelm-Morden.

The second thing that quickly became apparent was the synergies.

"We must have used that word about 100 times," she laughed.

Though the EPI report details spending decisions, the mayor cautioned that though Whistler has a five-year deal with the province for RMI money — about $7 million a year for tourist-related projects — it is subject to provincial money being available. The money is typically confirmed by March.

Unanimous again: Three years enough for council term

An informal email poll of council members this week shows the team is all on the same page on its views over extending the length of council's term.

The seven members are unanimous, as they are on most issues, in their opposition to the growing movement in British Columbia to extend council's term from three years to four years.



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