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

Lift station contract could be awarded

The City of Whitehorse will spend $114,820 on a new wastewater pump for the Marwell lift station to be supplied by Smith Cameron Process Solutions.

Whitehorse city council voted Dec. 7 to award the sole-sourced contract along with making budget changes to allow work on another pump at the lift station.

In a previous report to council, Arcadio Rodriguez, the city’s water and waste senior tech, highlighted a number of issues that have come up at the lift station due to sand and grit in the system over the last few years.

The issues have meant replacing pumps with what were backup pumps at the lift station.

The city now needs a new backup pump with another of the main pumps requiring refurbishment.

As part of his recommendation for the work, Rodriguez suggested the contract be sole-sourced to Smith Cameron Process Solutions.

“It is the only Canadian distributor for the brand of pump that can be installed in the lift station without need for extensive renovation or replacement of the mounting base within the lift station,” he said.

While the new backup pump will cost the city $114,820, council voted to adjust the budget so that a total of $200,000 was approved to also fund the refurbishment of the other pump.

City staff indicated efforts are underway to look at the issue of sand and grit in the system, which appears to be causing the damage to the pumps.

Peter O’Blenes, the city’s director of infrastructure and operations, said Stantec Engineering has been hired to look at the issue with a report anticipated for early in the new year.

While the lift station has a separator, it appears sand is still getting through it and creating issues for the pumps.

O’Blenes said it’s believed much of the sand originates from waste coming in from country residential properties, but more information on that will be available through the report when it is finished.

Private operators that pump out septic tanks dispose of the sewage at the lift station, which has an area for private operators to get rid of the waste. It is then pumped from there to the city’s sewage treatment facility.

Waste contract considered

PNW Waste Removal will be tasked with removing cardboard and waste from four city facilities after Whitehorse city council voted to award a $109,385 contract for the work to the company for a three-year term beginning Jan. 1.

The contract will see PNW collect waste and cardboard from the Canada Games Centre, Takhini Arena, Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre and the Frank Slim Building.

PNW was the only company to submit a bid on the contract.

Fire services review contract could be awarded

Emergency Management & Training Inc. has been awarded a $76,104 contract to do a comprehensive review of fire services for the City of Whitehorse.

Whitehorse city council voted Dec. 7 to award the contract.

In an earlier report to council Whitehorse fire chief Jason Everitt brought forward a recommendation for the contract award noting Emergency Management & Training was the only firm to submit a proposal on the project.

The proposal went through the city’s two-part review to be recommended for the contract award.

While the review had been originally scheduled for completion in 2020, it was delayed due to COVID-19.

City could lease office space

The City of Whitehorse is moving towards signing off on a $5,800 per month lease for office space beginning Feb. 1 for three years.

At Whitehorse city council’s Dec. 7 meeting, council members passed first reading on a proposed lease agreement for the city to rent a 428 square metre space from a numbered company — 535644 Yukon Inc.

The space is part of the property at 151 Industrial Road.

As the city’s senior project technician Nick Marnik stated in an earlier report to council, the proposed lease is coming forward after the city issued a call for proposals for office space in the fall.

“The building consolidation project has progressed so that the majority of city employees have relocated from the municipal services building to the Whitehorse operations building,” he explained. “Three work units remain in need of new locations to allow the closure of the municipal services building: business and technology services, land and building services, and planning and sustainability services.”

A new services building is being planned for next to city hall where a number of employees are expected to move once it is finished. A number of renovations are also planned for city hall as part of the overall building consolidation work that is happening.

The final two readings of the bylaw for the lease will come forward in the new year.

Emergency management plan proposed

The City of Whitehorse has an updated Emergency Management Plan in place.

Whitehorse city council voted to adopt the plan at its Dec. 7 meeting.

As Whitehorse fire chief Jason Everitt explained at a previous council meeting, the plan serves as a guide for city staff in their roles with the emergency operations centre. The new plan replaces a document that was adopted in 1998.

“It must be recognized that the content of the document is primarily foundational and to be effective, no element is invariable,” he said. “The success of emergency operations, as supported by this document, require flexibility to adapt to the incident as it evolves.”

Coun. Laura Cabott said she’s looking forward to seeing the plan implemented.

“This is a really important plan,” she said.

Asset management policy comes forward

The City of Whitehorse has a new asset management policy in place after a 5-2 vote by Whitehorse city council to adopt it Dec. 7.

The policy, Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services explained at an earlier meeting, sets out the principles for the development and implementation of an asset management system and the process for ongoing development and management.

“The asset management system developed under the proposed policy will enable the city to better manage the infrastructure that delivers service to the community in a way that considers current and future needs (performance), manages risks and opportunities and uses resources effectively to achieve the highest return on investment (cost/financial management),” Braga stated in her report.

Councillors Steve Roddick and Laura Cabott voted against adopting the policy.

Roddick had initially proposed an amendment to send the policy back to administration for further work that would more directly speak to the city’s sustainability and environmental goals.

Roddick’s’ motion was defeated with Cabott and Coun. Jan Stick being the only other members of council to vote in favour of it.

City staff explained the policy does contain some references to the city’s sustainable and environmental goals and noted the intent to fully incorporate those goals into assett management work, but also explained the policy was written in a way to avoid redundancy.

Roddick stated his view he would like to see the policy updated to more clearly reflect the sustainable and environmental values of the city.

Both Cabott and Stick stated their agreement with Roddick while other council members pointed out the city’s goals would be reflected in the implementation work and said they want to move efforts along for an asset management system.

“I’d like to move on this,” Mayor Dan Curtis said.

After Roddick’s motion was defeated, council voted in favour of adopting the policy.

A neighbourly donation

As efforts continue in Haines, Alaska, to deal with the devastating floods, landslides and snowmelt that have taken out homes and damaged infrastructure, Whitehorse city council is donating $5,000 to the community as a “gesture of support”, as Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services, described in bringing forward the donation for council’s approval.

Whitehorse city council voted Dec. 7 in favour of providing the donation to be used as Haines’ borough assembly sees fit to deal with the emergency.

Coun. Steve Roddick said he was “very glad” to see the donation come forward for a council decision before council’s break over the Christmas holidays.

The Dec. 7 session marked the final 2020 regular meeting for Whitehorse city council with members set to reconvene again on Jan. 4.

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

Whitehorse city council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Industrial Road bus stop relocated

Transit users making their way on routes along Industrial Road will notice… Continue reading

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

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

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read