Whistler’s municipality is looking to buy the 2.6-acre Fortis site on Nesters Road, strategically located near the community’s works yard and waste management site.
It remains unclear what the muni will do with the site, although they’re keeping all available options on the table.
“There are any number of options available, it’s just a strategic piece of property for the municipality to own given the fact that we’re right next door,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
Senior municipal manager Joe Paul outlined the site’s potential future uses during last Tuesday’s (Dec. 18) council meeting.
“Staff have long identified the Nesters site as being very compatible with the RMOW needs given the location adjacent to the works yard and our solid waste depot. Some other potential future uses that staff have identified are solid waste system expansion … and a works yard expansion or reorganization,” he said. “Staff intend to return in 2013, after we’ve given some consideration into how these lands could potentially be used to optimize our operations.”
The site could also enable the expansion of the B.C.’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program, which seeks to minimize the environmental burden of a product by making the producer or consumer directly responsibly for the costs and management associated with a product, especially in regards to the recycling and final disposal of the product. Historically, this responsibility has rested on local government.
Municipal staff have entered into a conditional agreement with energy company Fortis, and will take $1.235 million from the general capital reserve fund if the deal is approved, requiring a budget amendment to allow for the funds to be used. The change received first, second and third readings Tuesday’s council meeting.
The BC Utilities Commission oversees activities on the site and will have to approve the purchase before it’s finalized.
The RMOW’s offer on the site, which contains 1.5 acres of usable land, was based on a market-value appraisal.
The muni will consider new waste disposal options following two reports that will come in front of council in the new year.
A new municipal solid waste contract will also be tendered in 2013. The current contract with Squamish’s Carney’s Waste Services expired last month, but the company agreed to continue operating the Function and Nesters compators sites and the Whistler Compost Facility in the Callaghan until the spring.