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

Procurements pondered

The City of Whitehorse is expecting to go to tender or seek proposals on 18 contracts anticipated to be worth more than $100,000 in January and February.

The list of projects came forward at council’s Jan. 4 meeting. It is the first time such a list has come forward as the city implements its new procurement policy which puts most contracts in the hands of city staff to award rather than going through a council approval process.

As part of the new procedures, council is provided with a list every two months of upcoming projects anticipated to be worth more than $100,000.

In this case, the operations department and engineering services department had for the largest number of expected upcoming contracts with six each.

Under operations are the replacement of a number of vehicles including pickup trucks, a one-tonne truck, a heavy-duty truck and a mobile sweeper. The department is also planning the replacement of the roof of the historic Captain Martin House in LePage Park as well as a contract for janitorial services.

Meanwhile, engineering services is planning to award contracts for asphalt overlay work around town, trail work along the lower escarpment trail downtown, a city-wide water and sewer study, an assessment on the condition of the city’s utility stations and force main, repairs to the Robert Campbell Bridge and the replacement of the sanitary main at Ray Street.

Parks and community development have two projects including the site preparation for the Jumpstart Playground in Shipyards Park and the playground planned for the third phase of the Whistle Bend neighborhood.

Two contracts are also listed for the water and waste services department including the solid waste management plan and the second barrier treatment for the Selkirk pump house.

Finally, transit and business and technology systems each have one contract listed with a driver protection system listed for transit and Internet services for business and technology services.

Coun. Dan Boyd questioned whether the list will be available on the city’s website, noting the benefit of giving local businesses a chance to prepare for upcoming contracts.

Gloria Kasigazi, the city’s procurement supervisor, said she would look into the possibility. In the meantime, she added, the list is available through council’s agenda package on the city’s website.

Coun. Laura Cabott also commented on the change in how procurements are dealt with and suggested future reports include more detailed information making it clear how much each project is expected to cost.

“This is a real shift for how the City of Whitehorse does business,” she said.

Error outlined

An administrative error has Whitehorse city council considering budget figures for fuel abatement work again.

At council’s Jan. 4 meeting, Whitehorse fire chief Jason Everitt explained that in 2019 the city had consolidated three-year funding for fuel abatement work into a single project with a three-year $511,500 contract to Lane’s Yukon Yardworks Inc.

“It was discovered in early December 2020 that due to an administrative error, while $240,555 remaining at the end of 2019 for the fuel abatement project had been rebudgeted into the 2020-2023 capital expenditure plan, an additional $350,000 had not been rebudgeted,” Everitt said.

If the budget is not amended, the contract for the fuel abatement work “must be halted and postponed to future years, subject to council’s approval,” he said, leading to the recommendation for the change in budget amounts.

Following Everitt’s report, Coun. Samson Hartland acknowledged that mistakes happen, noting there was “no harm, no foul.”

Council will vote on the budget change to account for the $350,000 at its Jan. 11 meeting.

2020 umbrella budget bylaws come forward

The City of Whitehorse umbrella bylaws for 2020 budgeting are being brought forward for consideration by city council.

Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, presented council with the two bylaws — one for the capital budget and the other for the operating budget — at its Jan. 4 meeting.

Under the territory’s Municipal Act, the city is required to deal with budgetary changes that come up through the year through bylaws.

“In accordance with the provisions of the capital and operating budget bylaws, a number of properly authorized budget amendments occurred throughout 2020,” Dixon said. “These amendments are now being brought forward under umbrella bylaws for approval as required by the Municipal Act.

There was around $50 million in capital budget changes including an additional more than $24.2 million in rebudgets, more than $22.4 million in external funding and another more than $2.2 million in other amendments.

Meanwhile, the city saw more than $56,574 in changes to the operating budget, which brought the total operating budget up to $84.8 million.

Council will vote Jan. 11 on whether to move forward with the bylaws.

Time to get rid of the Christmas tree

The City of Whitehorse is reminding residents who want their Christmas tree collected by the city to have them to the curb by 7 a.m. Jan. 10.

The city will be collecting the trees around Whitehorse over a two-week period.

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

Whitehorse city council