Rainbow still without bus stop 

Council tries to light fire under B.C. Transit, MOT

Council is putting the pressure on transit to get a bus service up and running at the new Rainbow subdivision.

Despite the fact that a handful of residents moved into the subdivision this summer, there still has been no bus service for the homeowners.

"I don't think their requests (for a bus stop) are unreasonable," said Councillor Ralph Forsyth, who brought the matter to council's attention at Tuesday's meeting.

He said it's unacceptable for it to take this long to get service to the subdivision.

He asked staff for an update and was told by James Hallisey, manager of environmental projects, that there is a bus stop on the highway but B.C. Transit is waiting for a response from the Ministry of Transportation.

"I think we will get a response quite shortly," said Hallisey.

"We are going as fast as we can for sure."

Council passed a resolution to urge B.C. Transit and the Ministry of Transportation to see the situation resolved.


Rainbow Theatre project endorsed


With its goal of becoming one of the top film festivals in the world, the Whistler Film Festival Society is looking for a permanent home.

It's found that home at the old Rainbow Theatre and now it needs $1.5 million to renovate it and transform it into a state-of-the-art digital theatre, complete with all the latest technology in projection and sound.

Shauna Hardy Mishaw, co-founder and executive director of the festival, appealed for council's support Tuesday for a grant application to the federal government.

The theatre, she said, has sat without any love since the mid-80s.

Council endorsed the project as owners of the building that house the Rainbow Theatre.

The film festival's application details a $750,000 investment from Canadian Heritage for the project.

The balance of the money is to come from other government grants and fundraising from the film festival. To date, $150,000 has been raised for the project.

Hardy Mishaw said the goal is to have the renovations complete by December 2010, in time for the festival's 10 th anniversary.

It's slated to become the official hub and year-round home for the film festival's offices and events. It will also be made available for rental by other groups.

Councillor Grant Lamont asked point blank if the festival was looking for money from council.

"Not at this time," replied Hardy Mishaw, who said the funding gap isn't that wide if everything falls in place as expected.

Film festival organizers are expected to come back before council in December with an update.


Fairmont to pay $5,900 per employee bed


The Fairmont Chateau Whistler can move ahead with its 20,000 square foot spa and pay the municipality $5,900 for each additional employee the project generates, in lieu of creating employee housing beds.

Council had asked staff to look at other ways the developer could meet its employee housing obligations but at a request from the Oxford Properties Group, council is sticking to the $5,900 per bed sum.

"I want to make it very clear to Council, the effect the additional condition to provide supplementary employee housing on the overall project budget is considerable and will likely force Oxford to cancel or postpone the spa project," wrote director Mark Edwards in a letter to council.

Five of the seven councillors agreed to accept payment with Councillor Ralph Forsyth and the mayor balking at the request.

"I don't want to stifle business, I really don't," said Forsyth.

"I just don't feel like bending on this one."

Mayor Ken Melamed added that council's policy has not been to accept payment in lieu after a certain date and he suggested $5,900 per bed is not fair.


Fitzsimmons Walk sold out


The last seven units in the new 36-unit Fitzsimmons Walk subdivision have now sold out.

The project, at the entrance to the White Gold subdivision, went on sale to the first 100 people on the waitlist almost two weeks ago. At that time 29 units sold in an all-day event.

The Whistler Housing Authority contacted the next group on the waitlist and the remainder quickly sold.

The new homeowners will begin to move into the development by the end of the month.

The employee housing project sits beside 41 luxury market duplex style residences.



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