Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Handy Bus users could get a new ride

The City of Whitehorse could have a new Handy Bus in the next few months if Whitehorse city council approves a contract award for the supply of the bus.

City operations manager Richard Graham brought forward the recommendation to award the $229,809 supply contract to Dynamic Specialty Vehicles at council’s June 23 meeting.

Dynamic submitted the only compliant bid on the contract for the new Handy Bus, he said.

The Handy Bus system is a door-to-door service for those unable to use the conventional transit system.

While council members took no issue with the contract itself, Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu wondered about the 2018 Transit Master Plan, which put forward the possibility of an alternative system, such as a taxi scrip program, for those who now use the Handy Bus.

Acting city manager Valerie Braga noted that the Yukon government has extended its funding to operate the Handy Bus system to the end of 2021 so with the program continuing until at least then, the current bus at the end of its life and an approved budget for the purchase, it’s proposed the city move forward with it.

The city would likely find another use for the bus if an alternative system were approved down the road.

Front-end loader purchase contemplated

The City of Whitehorse could be getting a new front-end loader if Whitehorse city council approves a contract worth $301,500 for the supply of the equipment.

The contract would go to Finning Canada, which was one of two firms to bid on the contract. Great West Equipment also submitted a bid of $300,449.

In a report to council, city operations manager Richard Graham highlighted Finning’s equipment as having a lower costs in annual maintenance and fuel as well as a lower guaranteed buy back amount.

Finning’s estimated annual maintenance cost came in at $5,335 compared to $5,995 for Great West Equipment. The estimated annual fuel cost came in at $8,400 for Finning compared to $12,750 for Great West Equipment.

Finally, the guaranteed buy back remount would be $140,000 for the Finning loader and $206,000 for the Great West loader.

That meant Finning’s proposal came out with a final score of 96 points out of 100 compared to 89 for Great West.

Fifth and Rogers rezoning recommended to move forward

Whitehorse city council is moving closer to the final two readings on a zoning change for a 2.9-hectare parcel of Yukon government land at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street.

The change would prevent single family and duplex homes from being built there.

City planner Mike Ellis brought forward a public hearing report on the rezoning at council’s June 23 meeting, noting that the city received no submissions on the proposal.

That had Coun. Steve Roddick wondering why there were no submissions, pointing out that the property is quite large and there’s the potential for major change in the area when it is developed.

Emphasizing that his comments were speculation only, Ellis pointed out the proposed zoning change would be in line with the overall vision for the area that the city has been pursuing in promoting a denser downtown, thus the proposed rezoning is not really a new idea, but rather confirming an established vision for the area.

Meanwhile, Coun. Laura Cabott wondered if there’s been any more discussion around the creation of a berm needed for the development of the property.

With half the site near the clay cliffs in a moderate geohazard zone, it’s anticipated a berm will be built along the west side of the property to protect it against the slope instability.

Ellis said that discussion with the territory on which level of government would be responsible for building it still has yet to happen.

The territory is working towards eventually developing the site for housing.

Council is expected to vote June 29 on whether to move ahead with the final two readings of the rezoning bylaw.

Council to vote on zoning for downtown suite

A downtown property owner may know by June 29 whether his plans to build a rental suite above his garage can go ahead.

That’s when Whitehorse city council is expected to vote on whether to move forward with the final two readings of a bylaw for his property at 604 Black Street.

The rezoning would reduce the side yard setbacks to allow for the suite to be built.

In a public hearing report presented at council’s June 23 meeting, city planner Mike Ellis noted the only submission that came into council for the hearing was from the property owner highlighting his plans to add the suite. The suite would be the fourth and final living suite on the property with the other three inside the main house on the site.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

If the final two readings for the rezoning are approved, the property owner could move on the development permit process for the project.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Whitehorse city council

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