The owner of the Cheakamus Crossing asphalt plant says the municipality's tendering processes are "unfair" and "discriminatory" against him and his business.
Earlier this month RMOW council awarded a tender to Alpine Paving for this year's road and trail reconstruction program for $666,484.
However, a lower price was submitted by company owner Frank Silveri with a savings of $55,000 if the asphalt were to be sourced from his Whistler-based plant instead of another he owns in Squamish.
The tender process stipulated that asphalt material had to be sourced from a plant that is a minimum of three kilometres away from a residential area, making the Cheakamus Crossing plant ineligible.
"This is absurd and has never been done before," Silveri said. "I feel I am being targeted and discriminated against."
Silveri and the RMOW have been in a battle over the Whistler plant's location near the Cheakamus Crossing residential area, which was established long after the plant was operational.
He said he has been operating in the community for 22 years and is being treated unfairly after Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden campaigned with a platform to get rid of the plant, which some nearby residents complain causes noise and air pollution.
"We were there first," he said. "I cannot understand why they would go out of their way to destroy a person's livelihood."
Wilhelm-Morden said she doesn't know how Silveri could consider the tendering process to be unfair since his company was awarded the contract. She said it is worth the added costs of $55,000 to go with asphalt that is not produced close to a residential neighbourhood.
"We have done a bit of a cost-benefit analysis," she said. "This is so that we can avoid the cost to the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood of the nuisance and air quality with the operation of that plant."
As for the way the tender was worded, Wilhelm-Morden said municipalities craft these processes to reflect the needs of the community.
"Municipalities do that all the time when they are tendering for goods and services that reflect the needs and interests of their community," she said.
The road and construction tender was the first the RMOW awarded to Alpine Paving since it lost its case against the company in B.C. Supreme Court.
The municipality had previously ordered parent company Whistler Aggregates cease and desist operating the plant and argued the company is not allowed to manufacture asphalt, claiming that practice is not specifically referred to in the zoning bylaw for that land.
The order, which followed more than a year of extensive discussion between the two parties, was taken to the Supreme Court.
The court upheld Silveri's land use to operate an asphalt plant in January, ruling the wording clearly permits manufacturing and processing of gravel and aggregate.