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

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Whistle Bend town square contract pondered

Associated Engineering could soon begin work on the detailed design of the town square planned for the Whistle Bend neighbourhood.

At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 8 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that would see Associated awarded the $122,546 contract for the work.

The town square is part of the larger master plan for the neighbourhood and will see a commercial centre in place over an 0.85-hectare piece of land on Keno Way.

“The square is intended to be the focal point of the neighbourhood, providing public outdoor space for a variety of different activities (entertainment, festivals, markets, recreation, etc.) and surrounded by cafes, shops and other services.”

After a conceptual design was completed earlier this year, the city is moving to detailed design and construction administration with Associated Engineering Ltd. submitting the only compliant proposal on the work.

While the proposal totalled $216,358, it was for both the detailed design at $122,546 and construction administration at $93,812 with the city moving ahead in two stages that will begin with the design work.

The construction administration contract will be subject to future budget decisions, Simard explained.

“The earliest construction could occur is 2021, although this project will have to be considered alongside others as part of the capital budgeting process,” she said.

Council will vote on the design contract Sept. 14.

Local content may not be considered in consulting contract

The City of Whitehorse may not be factoring in local content when it comes to awarding a contract to find a consultant to review fire services.

At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 8 meeting, fire chief Jason Everett said as efforts get underway to release a request for proposals on the contract it is looking at the criteria to consider local content with between zero and 20 points weighted in the consideration under the city’s consulting services selection procedures policy.

In this case, Everett said the recommendation to not give any weighting for local content is because it is highly specialized work that isn’t likely to be done locally. It is important to place more weight on other areas such as methodology/experience, project team and in the interest of having a consultant who is not already connected to a local fire service, which could be difficult to find locally.

Council will vote on the contract weighting Sept. 14.

Local consultants could get up to 15 points in parking meter contract

Local consultants could get up to 15 points weighted into the evaluation for the contract to look at new parking metre technology for the City of Whitehorse.

Bylaw manager Doug Spencer proposed the weighting of 15 points in the evaluation for the request for proposals at council’s Sept. 8 meeting.

Under the City of Whitehorse’s consulting services selection policy, council assigns between zero and 20 points on such contracts that is then included in the evaluations after the proposals come in.

In this case 15 points is recommended as it’s expected the work could be done from Whitehorse, local consultants have previously done parking and traffic studies and in an effort to “reflect the desire to reward partnerships with local firms who have knowledge of our city and the intricacies of our downtown parking.”

While Coun. Samson Hartland said he wouldn’t have any hesitation moving the amount up to the full 20 points, he also said he’s willing to support the 15 points proposed as well.

Council will vote on the local content award on Sept. 14.

City may spend more on water supply work

The City of Whitehorse could be spending another $265,000 to replace the water main near Hillcrest along the Alaska Highway.

Michael Abbott, associate manager of engineering services for the city, brought forward the recommendation to approve the budget change at Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 8 meeting, highlighting changing plans for the project.

As he pointed out the original plan would have seen the water main built in two phases over two years as part of the work the Yukon government is doing to expand the highway in that area.

“YG’s consultant prepared a pre-tender cost estimate in the amount of approximately $688,000, not including GST, which included the replacement of water main fronting the businesses,” Abbott stated in his report to council. “At that time the estimate suggested the city’s existing budget would likely cover the full costs. However, the total price for the municipal works in the tender awarded by YG exceeded the consultant’s estimate.

“In addition, YG has since decided to construct both phases of the water main in 2020. Additional funds are required to meet the city’s obligations under the infrastructure agreement.”

It’s estimated the project will cost an additional $265,000 and while it’s expected funding will be available through the gas tax program, it’s proposed to be funded from reserves until the gas taxing funding becomes available.

Council will vote on the budget change Sept. 14.

Household hazardous waste days set for Sept. 11 and 12

It’s a good weekend to get rid of any household hazardous waste.

The City of Whitehorse will host its annual household hazardous waste days at the landfill with residents able to drop off without paying tipping fees on waste such as motor oil, solvents, gasoline, barbecue starter, anti-freeze, cleaning products, light bulbs, pesticides, aerosol cans and any containers under pressure.

The waste can be dropped off from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 11 and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sept. 12.

In partnership with the Yukon government’s Department of Community Services, the city is prepping for distancing measures to be in place over both days and it’s advised there may be traffic delays.

Crosswalk to be painted

The intersection at Main Street and Front Street will be closed Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As the City of Whitehorse explained in a statement: “The closure is required to support a public art project, which consists of painting the crosswalks at that intersection with the flags of Black Indigenous and People of Colour, and Queer Trans Black Indigenous People of Colour.”

Barricades and detour signs will be in place on Main Street and Front Street between Steele and Elliott streets.

While this project is being led by a number of local residents with the city’s involvement limited to approving the street closure, city spokesperson Myles Dolphin confirmed a more permanent installation of the flags may be considered as part of the 2021 budget, though no budget decisions have been made.

The issue of painting the crosswalk came up earlier this year with some members of the public calling for the change to the crosswalk.

It was noted then it can take time and budgeting work would be needed to get the specialized paint needed for a more permanent installation.

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

Whitehorse city council

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