Parking Lot 4 must be upgraded for the Olympic Games but whether it stays a gravel surface or becomes a paved surface remains to be seen.
VANOC has offered the municipality $700,000 towards the $1.3 million cost to pave the lot.
Council has yet to decide if it will spend more than $600,000 to make up the difference. That decision was deferred at last week's council meeting as councillors requested more information about the long-term operating costs of paving the lot.
In response to questions from Pique about its monetary offer to Whistler, Terry Wright, VANOC's EVP Services and Games Operations issued this e-mailed statement Monday:
"The recommendation to pave Lot 4 is a 'nice to have' option but the upgrading of the gravel surface in Lot 4 is a must," wrote Wright.
"VANOC requires an upgrade to the gravel surface and we have always budgeted to do that."
According to the most recent transportation update on the municipality's website, the day skier lots will be used during the month of February "to facilitate transportation and operations for the Games."
There will be no public parking on the lots during the Games.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is paying $4.6 million to pave Lots 1, 2 and 3 - those closest to the base of the mountains.
VANOC now needs the additional space in Lot 4 for the Games and must have the surface upgraded for its needs.
Administrator Bill Barratt, who has been negotiating the deal with VANOC, reminded council at the meeting that the municipality's long-term plan was always to pave Lot 4.
Raising $700,000 through property taxes would take a long time, he said this week.
"I guess from my perspective, (VANOC's offer) is like a grant," said Barratt.
"The idea was to improve customer service, get rid of the pot-holes, get rid of the dust and pave the parking lots."
Wright further explained in his e-mailed response:
"... (W)e put forward this opportunity for VANOC to partner with the RMOW on applying our budgeted funds to the paving of Lot 4 in order to achieve a win-win, as it means Whistler gets the paving for half price and VANOC gets a better operating solution in Lot 4."
Council initially balked at the suggestion of the RMOW taking more than $600,000 in its contingency fund for the Lots 1, 2 and 3 paving project as a way to pay to pave Lot 4. Three of the five councillors at last week's meeting called for that money to go back into the municipality's general funds.
The decision was delayed when council asked for more information about the long-term financial ramifications of paving the lot, or not.
Wright wrote: "We will wait for Council's final determination."
Council is expected to vote on the matter at next week's council meeting.
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