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

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lot expansion moves forward for Ortona Avenue

The proposed expansion of a property on Ortona Avenue took a step forward at Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 28 meeting when members approved the first two readings of a land transfer and sales agreement.

The deal would see the city sell the 127-square-metre piece of land to the owners of 75 Ortona Rd., which sits next to it.

As Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, confirmed when questioned by Coun. Laura Cabott, the piece of land is not large enough for an individual property, but could be sold as an expansion to the property next to it.

If the sale and lot expansion go ahead, 75 Ortona Rd. would be large enough for a garden suite to be built.

The land would be sold at fair market value, which has been assessed at $14,605.

Third reading of the sale bylaw will come forward Oct. 13.

Three Mount Sima Road properties could be expanded

The expansion of three industrial lots on Mount Sima Road has moved forward with Whitehorse city council members passing, on Sept. 28, the first two readings of the land sale bylaw that would allow the owners of the three properties to purchase the city-owned land behind their lots.

Earlier this year, council approved the rezoning of the city owned land to allow for the lot expansions that the property owners had requested.

Under the purchase agreements the land would be bought at fair market value. An appraisal has established a value of $13.45 per square metre.

At that rate, the 0.309-hectare space behind 69 Mount Sima Rd. would be sold for $41,600 with the 0.29 ha behind 77 Mount Sima Rd. to be sold for $39,000, and the 0.282 ha behind 83 Mount Sima Rd. to be sold for $37,900.

False fire alarm fees could rise

The fees for having the Whitehorse fire department respond to a false fire alarm three times in a year or more are closer to an increase following a Sept. 28 vote by Whitehorse city council to approve the first two readings of a bylaw for the change.

It would see the fine rise from the current $250 to $500.

The fee for a second response to a false alarm would remain at $200.

There is no fee for the first response.

Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, explained at an earlier council meeting the increase was identified as a way to bring in more money to offset the expense of responding to false alarms.

Changing insurance providers

City of Whitehorse staff will be covered by a new health insurance plan beginning in the new year.

At council’s Sept. 28 meeting, Whitehorse city council members voted in favour of awarding a contract to Manulife to provide the city’s health benefit plan for employees over the next four years at a cost of $6.6 million.

The contract comes following a review of the current benefits package for employees which, it was stated in an administrative report to council, found “there were opportunities for improvement in the benefit offerings and that a market survey should be completed through an RFP process.”

A total of five compliant proposals for the contract were submitted from AUMA/Sun Life, DesJardins Insurance, iA Financial Group, Manulife, and SSQ Insurance.

Two of those did not meet the initial technical threshold first considered with three then going on to the next stage of the evaluation.

Of those three, Manulife had the highest scoring proposal.

“Manulife is capable of providing superior benefits to the employees of the City of Whitehorse at the same cost as the current provider,” Lindsay Schneider, the city’s acting director of human resources, said in an earlier report to council. “Manulife is a leading edge benefit provider that will also be able to provide a more streamlined process for administering benefits which will aid staff in the human resources department.”

Budget change made

The City of Whitehorse has altered its capital budget by $28,374.

At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 28 meeting, members voted in favour of the change that came through the second quarter financial report for 2020.

As was noted in an earlier report to council, the changes came from five projects that were under budget including replacements of a utility work machine and a compressor at the Canada Games Centre as well as purchases of an end dump trailer for the operations department and a thermal imaging camera.

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

Whitehorse city council