Rainbow alive and moving ahead

As one of the “project partners” of the Rainbow development, we would like to provide the Whistler public with some information on the current status of the Rainbow development.

Contrary to a recent report, the Rainbow development is very much alive and well, is making good progress and is certainly not “stalled”. We recognize the importance of the resident housing to Whistler residents and we continue to be fully committed to completing the development as quickly as possible. We were told our attendance at last Monday’s council meeting was not required from a senior staff member.

The Rainbow partners have spent over $5.5 million on the project in the past two and a half years and we continue to fund all aspects of the project (e.g. engineering, legal, architectural etc.). Negotiations are ongoing with two chartered banks and we expect to conclude a successful agreement with one of them in the next couple of weeks. Both banks required subdivision, or minimally municipal tentative approvals, and the last of these approvals were received from the municipality on Oct 17, 2007. This approval was originally expected in the spring.

The on-going process of securing construction financing and the subdivision approvals has not slowed down the progress on other components of the project. The normal bread and butter project work of design, engineering, planning, surveying and setting up for contracting has been ongoing in the background and we are very pleased with the progress of these aspects of the project over the past six months. A lot of good solid progress has been achieved and some more has still to be done. The engineering design has continued to make good progress and we have a number of difficult approvals in hand, e.g. the Highway 99 intersection and signalization and the roads and underground services designs for the two main public subdivision roads. Design of the strata roads and servicing has been submitted to the municipality and we are working on follow-up revisions that have been requested by staff in order to re-submit the designs. The whole of the 45-acre site has been surveyed with elevations taken for each lot. The complex issue of connecting to the municipal sewer system has also been resolved. The full length of the 3 km route of the sewer forcemain along Highway 99 to the connection to the municipal sewer near the old Boot site has been completed.

We have recently retained the services of a major civil contracting firm to provide us with an opinion on our construction budgets for the development roads and services. Crown land has been secured for the new off-site reservoir, and the requisite Department of Forests permit for the water line is also in hand. We have also engaged a recognized design-build contractor to provide us with a design-build proposal for the new reservoir and for the sanitary pump station and forcemain so that construction can begin next spring.

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