Council comes to rescue of animal shelter 

A funding shortfall at Whistler Animals Galore has prompted council to approve a $13,000 advance grant-in-aid for the animal shelter.

The grant was announced at Monday’s council meeting. It will go towards the shortfall in operating funds at the shelter.

Councillor Marianne Wade explained the reason for the shortfall is a decline in fundraising money. She recognized that many other groups are facing similar challenges with fundraising this year.

Council will review the RMOW’s relationship with WAG during the 2004 budget talks.

In the meantime there will be a WAG fundraiser at the GLC tonight, Friday, Dec. 19. There will be two short performances by members of the Whistler Dance Academy at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. The shows will offer a preview of the upcoming Kitty Kat Revue, a cabaret style burlesque show coming to the stage in January.

Admission for the shows is by donation to help support WAG.

Businesses opt for July construction in village

Council will allow construction in Village Square throughout July despite established policy to prohibit work in the village during the summer months.

The Village Square construction project is set to begin in early April for 14 weeks and be completed by July 1, just in time for the village construction ban.

But organizers of the annual Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival asked council to change the construction window so they would be able to use Village Square during the event from April 16 to 25.

This goes against the construction policy, which is intended to minimize the disruption to the village, particularly during the busy summer months.

That policy states that work will not be carried out from July 1 to Sept. 3 in public areas if it causes an inconvenience or jeopardizes the use of those areas.

At council’s request, municipal staff polled the businesses in Village Square with two options. Those options were either to allow construction to take place throughout April, which would prevent the WSSF organizers from using the square for events during the festival, or to delay construction in April, which will push the construction into the summer.

Ten of 13 business preferred to delay to start of construction and push into July.

Council approved this construction timeframe at Monday’s meeting.

Only Councillor Kristi Wells opposed the scenario, pushing instead for a third option where the municipality would delay construction in April but work overtime and pay the premium to get the work done by July.

"I’d rather put our attitude to getting it done," said Wells.

Without a cost estimate for this premium, council voted in favour of allowing work in July.

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