GranFondo won't be billed by Squamish district 

Trail funds matching opportunity pushed to budget process

Organizers of the RBC GranFondo won't be sent an event bill by the District of Squamish.

Though the district does have a bylaw in place to charge $5 per participant in event fees, which goes toward the cost of trail maintenance within the district, it is to be waived for the GranFondo.

Councillor Corinne Lonsdale asked at the regular meeting of District of Squamish Council on Tuesday (Oct. 4) if the event will be charged the fee.

Kevin Ramsey, Squamish's CAO, responded to Lonsdale's question by announcing that he learned from his staff on Monday that the GranFondo organization will not be sent a bill.

"We're working on that as far as our overall trail users and the bylaw itself," said Ramsey.  "Understanding council's concern with that and many other events where we have not collected those funds and so we will be coming back with a report from community services on that specific issue."

GranFondo organizers allowed 7,000 people to register for the ride from Vancouver to Whistler so Squamish is passing up a payment of about $35,000.

Ramsey said district staff is working on a report on the GranFondo's impacts, which is almost ready for council to look at.

Councillor Patricia Heintzman originally posed the question about the fee at a previous meeting of council. Then Lonsdale asked it again during discussion regarding a letter from Thor Froslev, one of the Fall Fair organizers.

Froslev wants GranFondo to choose a different date because the traffic disruptions caused by the bike ride significantly impact the annual fair.

Lonsdale said she supports Froslev's request to have GranFondo hold its bike ride on another day.

Ramsey's news of the decision regarding GranFondo came minutes after Councillor Bryan Raiser asked council to grant the Squamish Off Road Cycling Association matching funds to be used for mountain bike trail maintenance.

Raiser said the cycling organization generated more than $20,000 through the sale of trail passes.

His attempt to have money allocated from the council contingency fund to go toward SORCA's program was rejected by all the other members of council. The rest of the local leaders felt funding for trails shouldn't come from the contingency fund and the more appropriate place for the discussion is during the budgeting process.




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