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

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Transit stop moved

Transit users looking to get to or from the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport will have an easier time after the stop was moved closer to the airport.

On June 29, the City of Whitehorse announced the move for the Route 3 stop.

The stop had been on Norseman Road, which meant travelers had to walk through the airport parking lot to get between the bus stop and the airport.

The stop is now just across from the terminal’s arrival doors.

New Handy Bus coming the city’s way

The City of Whitehorse will have a new Handy Bus after Whitehorse city council approved a contract award for the supply of the new vehicle at its June 29 meeting.

Council voted to award the $229,809 supply contract to Dynamic Specialty Vehicles.

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

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

Front-end loader purchase goes ahead

The City of Whitehorse will get a new front-end loader after Whitehorse city council approved a contract worth $301,500 for the supply of the equipment at its June 29 meeting.

The contract will 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 previous report to council, city operations manager Richard Graham highlighted Finning’s equipment as having 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 amount 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 moves forward

Whitehorse city council passed the final two readings on a zoning change for a 2.9-hectare parcel of Yukon government land at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street at its June 29 meeting.

The change prevents single family and duplex homes from being built there, a move that was proposed to encourage denser housing development in the area, reflecting the city’s overall vision for the neighbourhood.

The territorial government is working towards developing the property for housing.

Coun. Steve Roddick described it as an “exciting” zoning change for the city.

“This is a large undeveloped piece of land in our downtown and I’m excited to see what could potentially come out of this zoning change and I am supportive of it,” he said. “I think it is a big opportunity to add new units in larger numbers where they’re more needed than other places in the city.”

Coun. Laura Cabott also voiced her support before voting in favour of it, noting it has been empty for many years and there’s potential for hundreds of units to be developed there.

At the same time, she highlighted the berm that will need to be put in on the site, encouraging city staff to work with the Yukon government to determine responsibility for building the berm so the development can get underway.

COVID help

As it looks to do more to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19, Whitehorse city council will begin reviewing Requests for Proposals before they are advertised to assign an amount of weight that will be given for local content in each.

Council voted for the change at its June 29 meeting.

The proposal came from Coun. Laura Cabott, who had initially come forward with a proposal that would have seen a full 20 points in the city evaluation process given to local firms unless council directed otherwise.

Under the city’s process previously, the city could assign between zero and 20 points for local content in its evaluation for consulting work, among a number of other factors considered.

Cabott has been vocal in pushing forward efforts to support local consultants impacted by COVID-19 and has suggested providing more weight for local content in evaluating RFPs is one way to do this.

Along with voting in favour of the change on RFPs, a separate discussion among council focused on how to help other local businesses after staff put forward a brief summary of an earlier discussion noting the need to look at issues being faced by the broader business community before specific recommendations can be made.

Coun. Dan Boyd questioned whether a full list would come forward with Mayor Dan Curtis highlighting a Buy Local committee initiative that’s underway which involves Yukon government officials, himself as mayor, chambers of commerce and more.

Curtis said the committee is working to come up with a list of potential initiatives and noted it’s hoped that efforts won’t be duplicated.

Boyd suggested a report be provided to council from administration over the next couple of months showing where work has been or is being done on the matter.

“We seem to need an action plan, but we don’t even know what to put in the action plan,” he said.

Cabott voiced her agreement, noting having it presented at council would also make it publically available and keep the matter “front and centre.”

Others also voiced their support, adding it will likely be something the city is dealing with for the long-term.

“There’s a lot of planning ahead,” Coun. Jan Stick said, emphasizing the need for many governments and organizations to work together.

City manager Linda Rapp noted staff would take council’s direction on the matter.

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

Whitehorse city council

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