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

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

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fall recreation grants proposed

A total of $46,680 could go to a dozen local groups for upcoming programs they’re offering.

At Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, Kerri Rutherford, the city’s program leadhand, brought forward a recommendation that council approve the fall recreation grants to the 12 groups.

The grants would range from $700 for the Canadian-Filipino Sports Association of the Yukon for operational costs for programming to $6,000.

The four groups set to receive the highest amount include the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon for its Out and About Program, Gwaandak Theatre Society for its Winter Cultural Variety Nights, Learning Disabilities of the Yukon (LDAY) for Camp Raven and the Yukon Arts Society for arts and craft programs.

Questioned about the impact COVID-19 is having on recreational groups and programming, Rutherford noted in the spring when rec grants are also provided, only one organization had to return grant funds back to the city because they were unable to provide the programming they had received the grant for. Others altered their plans to offer programs in a new way.

Council will vote on the grants at its Oct. 26 meeting.

Event grants considered

A total of 12 events in Whitehorse could get a financial boost from the city.

At Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, Kerri Rutherford, the city’s program lead hand, brought forward a recommendation that 11 groups receive a total of $50,000 in cash and $30,355 in-kind in festivals and special events grants for events they are planning to host in 2021.

The largest grant would go to the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society for its festival scheduled for Feb. 12 to 28, 2021 with Rendezvous proposed to receive $8,500 and in-kind assistance from the city valued at $20, 586.

Meanwhile, the All-City Band Society would receive the smallest events grant at $800 for its Music for a Winter’s Eve, scheduled for Dec. 14 and 15, 2021.

Council will vote on the grants at its Oct. 26 meeting.

Weighing local content

As the City of Whitehorse moves forward in planning for a new reception building at the Robert Service Campground, it is looking at how much weight it will give to local content in the design and construction contract for the structure.

Peter O’Blenes, the city’s director of infrastructure and operations, brought forward a recommendation at Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, that a full 20 points be available for local content in the evaluation on design and construction contract for the building.

Council can set the rating for local content — up to 20 points — on certain projects ahead of the request for proposals being released.

In this case, O’Blenes explained, administration is proposing the weighting of 20 points be set for a couple of reasons.

“It is believed that there are many companies in Whitehorse that would be qualified and interested in doing this work,” O’Blenes stated in his report. “This weighting, at the highest end of the one to 20 range, has been selected to reflect the desire to reward partnerships with local firms who have knowledge of our city and the intricacies of the current construction market.”

Along with being the main reception building for the campground, the new building is also envisioned as becoming a “community hub that can be accessed year-round, with flexible uses such as recreation, community gatherings and rentable space for other organizations.”

Council will vote on the local content weighting Oct. 26.

It’s anticipated the request for proposals would then be released in the beginning of November with design work happening in 2021 and construction anticipated for 2022.

Electrifying bylaw

Whitehorse city council is being asked to consider moving forward with a local improvement charge to a property owner for electricity.

As Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, explained in a report to Whitehorse city council at its Oct. 19 meeting, the owners of 24 Harvey Place want to add their garage and a suite onto the electrical grid.

The city has been assisting with the cost of urban properties to tie into the grid since 1989 through its Urban Electrification program, which essentially finances the work and then charges the cost back to the property owner through a local improvement charge.

To be approved, applicants must have title to the property, current taxes must be paid in full and the cost of the work cannot exceed 75 per cent of the assessed property value.

With the property owners having met all the requirements, a bylaw is now required to authorize the local improvements charge, Dixon stated.

Council will vote on first reading of the bylaw Oct. 26.

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

Whitehorse city council