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Municipality sets deadline for MY Place transfer

Protracted proceedings have added $17,500 in legal fees

If the municipality does not gain title to MY Millennium Place from the Whistler Interfaith Society by March 5, the RMOW will initiate foreclosure proceedings.

"March 5th is the date that council has said if the transfer of the building doesn't happen by, council will direct staff to commence foreclosure," announced Lisa Landry, general manager of economic viability for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, this week.

"We are well past negotiations."

Landry's statement comes almost two years after the plan to transfer MY Place from the Whistler Interfaith Society to the municipality was hatched.

Over the past 22 months, the two parties have discussed the transfer agreement at length, including the details of the interfaith society's lease.

Landry said the details of the transfer agreement have barely changed since the interfaith society rejected the deal last September. Over that time, the municipality has incurred about $17,500 in legal fees.

"We are going to put forward the same agreement, but the difference will be the cost option," said Landry.

"That has now increased by approximately $17,500 because of the legal fees incurred since the first time they (the interfaith society) voted against what has effectively been the same agreement all along."

The interfaith society built MY Place in 2001, but was not able to cover construction costs. The next year the municipality stepped in to guarantee a $3.2 million loan from the North Shore Credit Union.

Today, the interfaith society still owns the building. But the municipality paid off the mortgage last December, after North Shore Credit Union called in the loan.

Jason Kawaguchi, president of the interfaith society, said at this point the group does not have a lot of options left.

"There were a couple little things we were trying to work out as far as the sales agreement and things going back-and-forth with the lawyers," said Kawaguchi.

"But there are two choices. Either we do it, or they have instructions to proceed with foreclosure."

Kawaguchi added that the interfaith society's efforts to raise the $3.2 million themselves by Jan. 16 were fruitless. The group has no immediate plans to "buy back" the building.