ATM: Olympics projected to amp growth |

ATM: Olympics projected to amp growth

ALLEN BESTspecial to the daily

WHISTLER, B.C. How much difference will hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics have on the Vancouver-Whistler corridor? A new study finds that population growth will be 11 percent higher by the year 2031 than if the Olympics were not held. But in either case, reports Pique, the population growth will be great.Much of the growth will be in the Vancouver area. Whistler, meanwhile, has set a goal of capping population at 14,000. That means that population growth is likely to be disproportionately high in outlying areas.Teachers’ pay hike puts them over capsJACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Teachers in Jackson Hole this year got a whopping increase in salaries. Starting salaries are now at $50,000, nearly double. Average increases were 32 percent.The intent was to give teachers enough money to allow them to buy single-family homes, reducing the turnover in the school district.In fact, teachers are now paid so well that some no longer can qualify for government-subsidized housing, but still earn too little to be able to afford the free-market housing.Something similar is found at the hospital, St. John’s Medical Center, where 161 staff members make between $60,000 and $120,000.These statistics mirror a widening gap. Wages have increased 22 percent during the last seven years, but average home-sale prices 79 percent.Park City puts water straw into next basinSUMMIT COUNTY, Utah When it comes to water, Park City and other housing developments in western Summit County have nearly reached their limits to growth. Park City has virtually no watershed upstream, a situation rivaled among Colorado ski towns perhaps only by that of Winter Park.With that in mind, Park City and Summit County and two water districts are bearing down on an agreement that would deliver 5,000 acre-feet of water annually from a reservoir located 17 miles away on the south-facing flanks of the Uintah Range. This agreement would ensure sufficient water for the growth anticipated in the Park City area for the next 40 years, said Jerry Gibbs, public works director for Park City.Park City is unusual among ski towns of the West in that it gets 40 percent of its water from tunnels in old silver mines. Nearby Salt Lake City also gets some of its water from those mines.Durango museum will focus on electrical storyDURANGO Although Telluride can lay claim to the world’s first long-distance transmission of alternating current, beginning in 1891, Durango quickly embraced the new technology. By1892, it had a power plant that burned coal to produce electricity and then transmitted to street lights using AC lines. The plant in the 1930s was converted to burn natural gas, then production of electricity was abandoned altogether during the 1970s. But Durango for several years has been plotting how to create a visitor-friendly museum devoted to power generation and use. The Durango Telegraph reports the museum is expected to open in 2009.The building is the oldest known surviving AC power plant.While reviewing the history of power production, museum visitors will be invited to examine the role of electrical power in our lives today and consider the future. There will be an exhibit devoted to a hydrogen-powered race car, for example. Building techniques that result in low utility bills and causing minimal use of energy will be showcased. A solar power carousel is also planned.

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