Costs climb for debris barrier, paving parking lots 

Revenue from pay parking expected to fund transit affordability program

click to enlarge Paving Pains Paving costs for day skier lots have risen by $300,000
  • Paving Pains Paving costs for day skier lots have risen by $300,000

Parking in three of the day skier lots after the 2010 Winter Olympics will likely cost $8 per day in the winter and $12 per day in the summer.

Those are the latest numbers being discussed by staff at municipal hall as they finalize their business plan and prepare to tender the project.

“We are looking at between $8 and $12 per day,” said James Hallisey, manager of environmental projects for the municipality.

“As for our hourly rates, I am not sure that has been really determined, but it will be proportional to the daily rate.”

While the exact rates on day skier lots 1, 2 and 3 have not yet been finalized, the municipality is moving full steam ahead to get the lots paved by next July.

However the budget to pave the lots has increased by $300,000 since last year, to $4.6 million.

Meanwhile, the budget to build a debris barrier on Fitzsimmons Creek — a project closely linked to paving the parking lots — has increased by almost $1 million, to $6.9 million.

Hallisey said both cost increases, which add up to $1.2 million, are due to inflation in the construction market.

“Our construction costs have been going up an average of 15 per cent per year,” explained Hallisey.

He added: “That is just our budget number. We do not know what the actually costs are going to be. If we get some good prices, we are not going to spend more than we need to, but to make sure we have enough money in the budget to do the project, that is what we did.”

Also, VANOC’s offer to cover 40 per cent of the cost of upgrading the day skier lots has now been withdrawn.

“It was never really a firm commitment, but there had been some discussions so we had put it in the plan,” said Bill Barratt, general manager of environmental services for the municipality.

Barratt added that since VANOC has contributed to other costs associated with the 2010 Winter Games, like Whistler’s Celebration Plaza and the athletes’ village, the 40 per cent offer has now been scratched from the plan.

“In our 2008 plan, we show it as 100 per cent funded (by the municipality), and we made that adjustment in our capital fund,” he said.

To help cover these costs, the current business plan for the day skier lots estimates that revenue from pay parking will be $2 million per year, after 2010. That money will be used to pay the construction bill over a 20-year period, as well as pay for the operating costs of the upgraded parking lots and fund the municipal transit affordability program.

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