Some residents of Haines Junction may not be moving, but they may soon find themselves with a new address.
A public hearing was held in the community – via Zoom – on June 14 about proposed changes to civic addressing.
The changes are coming forward thanks to the newly available 911 service in the community.
“With the implementation of 911 emergency services in the region, the Village of Haines Junction began a review of the current municipal addressing system. Changes are being proposed to heighten the safety of our residents,” it’s stated.
Noelle Palmer, the village’s corporate administrator, said in a July 15 interview a total of 12 written submissions came in ahead of the hearing. Officials also received a call from one resident who argued there is little benefit in the changes.
Others expressed concerns about the impact to their own individual addresses.
As Palmer explained, some homes had a couple of addresses that could be used and residents wanted to state their preference between the two.
Village administration will be drafting a report on the input to go to council for consideration.
Palmer noted the address changes have been in the works for some time with 911 services being available since 2016.
With 911 calls for emergency services coming into Whitehorse, it’s important that proper addressing is in place so dispatchers can ensure emergency responders get to the right address.
Previous to the 911 service being available, residents would make emergency calls to their nearest RCMP detachment. Officers were familiar with the community and often didn’t need a proper address to know where to go.
The Yukon government completed addressing for unincorporated communities a couple of years ago with Haines Junction continuing to work towards ensuring civic address are in place for all properties in the village.
“Community safety is one of our top priorities,” Palmer said.
That effort saw officials consider whether to use lot numbers or the civic addressing system in place through much of Haines Junction with the exception of a couple of subdivisions.
While many homes have civic addresses in place, some residents didn’t realize they had a civic address.
Consulting with emergency responders in the community, Palmer said many favoured continuing with the civic address system in place. While it means changes for some addresses, many properties in the village will not see any such change.
There was also a desire to make the changes in the least disruptive way possible, Palmer said, noting that in addition to the impacts on residents there are also a number of businesses that have printed brochures and advertisements featuring their established address.
“It made sense to continue with the system (in place),” Palmer said.
The formal addresses that needed to change were confirmed with a bylaw now being considered by council.
Letters were sent to all property owners about the changes with information on how to provide input to council or be part of the public hearing, Palmer said.
Following the public hearing report, council will decide how to proceed.
If members choose to move forward with changes as proposed, maps will be printed for emergency responders.
The village has also ordered in signs that will need to be painted and put in place.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org