Council briefs: WHA to start charging waitlist fees 

Starting this month, people joining the Whistler Housing Authority’s (WHA) purchase waitlist for the first time will have to pay $50.

And, around November 2009, people already on the waitlist will be charged a $25 annual fee.

The $50 and $25 fees are being introduced to help with the administrative costs of processing applications and maintaining the waitlist, said Marla Zucht, WHA general manager, during a presentation to council on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

“It is anticipated that these two new restricted housing participation fees will provide WHA with approximately $25,000 per annum,” said Zucht.

WHA’s purchase waitlist has grown 350 per cent over the last five years. Currently there are 900 applicants on the list. About 264 of these households already own resident restricted housing.

Also at the end of 2008, restricted housing within Whistler reached 4,212 employee beds, an increase of over 150 per cent from 1,663 beds in 1995.

Zucht said with the increased inventory, it is getting harder for WHA staff to make ends meet.

The housing organization currently only has two full time staff and one part time worker.


Whistler gives Pemberton used bridge

Expect to see an old Whistler amenity on a trail in Pemberton sometime soon.

This week, council gave municipal staff the thumbs up to donate the old Village Gate Boulevard Bridge — also known as “Blue Bridge” — to the northern municipality.

“Congratulations Mayor Sturdy, and thank you for your contribution to the Sea to Sky Trail,” said Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed.

“I know this is going to form a piece of that project.”

The steel bridge — used between 1993 and 1995 before a concrete structure was built — has been sitting in the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s impound yard for over a decade. The RMOW hoped to use the bridge elsewhere in town, but still hasn’t found anything.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy has been pushing for the bridge on behalf of his community for sometime. The bridge will be put on a community trail leading to One Mile Creek.

The Village of Pemberton will use the bridge as part of its portion of the Sea to Sky Trail.

According to Iota Construction, a Chilliwack company that supplies many of Whistler’s trail structures, the bridge is worth between $10,000 and $15,000.

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