Gateway Loop project concepts to go public 

Ideas developed out of recommendations in the EPI report

click to enlarge CATHRYN ATKINSON - Gord Annand and Terry Deutscher are the first two recipients of the Whistler Civic Service Awards.
  • Cathryn Atkinson
  • Gord Annand and Terry Deutscher are the first two recipients of the Whistler Civic Service Awards.

Whistler's visitors could be looking at a brand new arrival experience at Gateway Loop, the bus and taxi centre in the village, in the years to come.

Municipal staff, with the help of extensive consultation from stakeholders, has developed three conceptual options for changes to the loop in what are called: low, medium and high intervention.

The options include looking at reconfiguring the road, moving parking, allowing more bus access, and adding shelters.

Ted Battiston, the municipality's manager of special projects, asked for council's approval to take the design concepts to the public for more feedback and stakeholder engagement.

Councillor Duane Jackson asked if public engagement would include a cost matrix.

While those redevelopment costs aren't yet nailed down, staff can share the relative cost differences in the different options.

"That would be part of that engagement process," said Battiston.

The work began in early May and flows out of recommendations in the Economic Partnership Initiative (EPI) report, which called for the project to enhance and evolve the village-guest experience and support ongoing business success.

The project also needs to be considered in the context of other work being done at the hall — the Whistler Village Portals and Gateways project, the Master Wayfinding & Arrival Experience project, and the Cultural Connector project.

A date has not yet been set.

First Civic Service Awards handed out

Council has handpicked two volunteers for the first Whistler Civic Service Awards, after passing the new policy this year to recognize volunteers on municipal boards and committees.

The first two recipients are Gord Annand and Terry Deutscher.

"This is a terrific community," said Deutscher, who sits on the library board and was a member of the learning and education task force. "I couldn't have a better early retirement experience."

Deutscher worked as a professor of business administration at the Richard Ivey School of Business, serving as director of research and associate dean.

"We took advantage of that experience," said municipal CAO Mike Furey, of recruiting Deutscher for the education task force.

Another library board member, Gord Annand, was also recognized. Annand has been on the board for eight years and is current chair.

"It's just been transformational under your leadership," said Furey of the library.

Under the new policy, Whistler can choose three recipients of the awards each year. The recipients will receive formal recognition to praise their contribution to the community.

RMOW's customer service strategy

Council was pleased to check one more thing off its to-do list, as it closed the door on its last council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 4.

It was the Customer Service Strategy.

"I'm really happy to see this," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. "It was on our work plan almost from the beginning."

One of the areas of customer concern that came to council's attention in the early days of its term was criticisms of the building and planning department — the pace of getting things through the hall and the amount of red tape.

Other jurisdictions, for example, have an automated process where people can check the status of their applications.

Councillor Andrée Janyk asked if that department would be an area to tackle first with the new strategy.

"Yes, the priority area will be addressed and that appears to be a priority area," said Norm McPhail, general manager of corporate and community services.

There are three themes in the strategy:

• enriching service culture

• planning and leading change

• enhancing service delivery

The strategy includes a series of recommendations with a proposed timeline over the next five years and the anticipated costs.

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