Council Briefs 

Local governments asked to help save operations

The corridor’s state of the art organic recycling facility in Squamish is on the verge of closing its doors for good.

Owen Carney said this week that try as he may to find an answer to the odour problems at his facility, he can’t satisfy the neighbours in the business park.

And though Squamish council has given him a year to continue operating while he looks for another location, Carney said he can’t pour more money into the facility to move.

"There’s no sense running it for another year when we can’t afford to move," he said.

Unless corridor partners can come together and find a solution, the facility, which processes 50 tonnes of organic waste every day, will stop operations on Sept. 1.

The news came to Whistler council is a letter at Monday’s meeting and sparked some concern about losing this critical piece of the puzzle in achieving the corridor’s waste management goals.

"This letter came as a bit of a shock," said Councillor Tim Wake, who was aware there were some odour issues.

"To me this is a problem we have to solve."

Other councillors and corridor politicians shared his concern.

"It is too good a project to lose," said Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland. "It’s just the location hasn’t worked out for us.

"The unfortunate thing was they couldn’t deliver on their zero odour promise and the current location is one where when they do have serious odours, they do affect a lot of other business people."

Sutherland, like the Whistler council, is willing to help find solutions and come up with an alternate location where the smell won’t disturb neighbours.

In his letter this week Carney said he is prepared to work with the regional district to keep the plant operating after the Sept. 1 deadline, with local governments covering operational costs. He is also willing to offer the composting machinery and equipment to local governments at a favourable price.

Proposed nightclub turned down

Though they recognize there may be a gap in Whistler’s nightclub offerings for the over-30 crowd, council did not approve the new Mountain Club lounge in the village.

Operator Dave Kershaw, who runs two clubs in Vancouver as well as the Savage Beagle and Garfinkel’s in Whistler, explained the Mountain Club would be a venue to appeal to the older crowd going out in Whistler. There would be no dance floor and it would not be a rowdy atmosphere, he said, in his presentation to council Monday night.

But as much as some councillors liked the idea, there were concerns about transferring a dormant liquor license from the basement of the Whistler Village Centre (site of the old Alpen Rock House) to the plaza level of that development (site of the old Puppy Zone).

"I think the concept is great," said Councillor Bob Lorriman.

His enthusiasm was tempered by ongoing concerns about village rowdiness. He said he thought the location, underneath the Holiday Inn and the new Pan Pacific, was a problem.

Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden also pointed to the 24,000 licensed seats in the village.

"We just don’t need anymore," she said.

There was a general consensus on council that if there is a gap in the market for the older crowd, a current operator will eventually meet that need.

Squash club shows interest in Holborn

Plans for the Holborn redevelopment of the tennis club lands will be on display at an open house next week.

The project includes 181 market townhouses and apartments along with a new tennis facility with 12 courts, a fitness centre and an outdoor pool.

Members of the Whistler Valley Tennis Club and the Whistler Squash Club are also keen to see squash courts added to the development.

That’s why squash club president Ben Thomas has organized a squash game with the top B.C. player, Viktor Berg, following the open house.

Thomas, who is ranked eighth in the province, will play Berg at Meadow Park following the open house on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Thomas said they are trying to show there is strong interest in the community for including squash courts at the Holborn facility. This could add another non-weather dependent sport in Whistler, he said.

Everyone is welcome to attend the open house at the Spruce Grove Field House from 3 to 7 p.m. and head to Meadow Park afterwards for the squash game.


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