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.

More asphalt work planned

Whitehorse city council added to the asphalt work planned for 2021 in voting Feb. 8 to add another $210,000 from the Yukon government to cover paving of the Alaska Highway at Two Mile Hill and Hamilton Boulevard.

Council also voted to have the mayor sign off on a contribution agreement for the city to do the work.

As city engineering manager Taylor Eshpeter told council Feb. 1, with the city planning paving work for Hamilton Boulevard as part of its annual asphalt overlay work, the Yukon government was interested in having the city also do part of the highway (which falls under the territory’s jurisdiction) that intersects with Hamilton Boulevard.

“There are significant longitudinal ruts at this intersection, which greatly affect the quality of the driving surface, especially when crossing the highway,” Eshpeter said. “This collaboration will result in project efficiencies for both parties and cost savings for YG.”

While it’s estimated the $210,000 will cover the cost to pave the section of highway, the agreement with the city includes a clause that YG will take on any unforeseen costs that come up and will pay the city for the actual cost of the work when the paving is completed.

Local weighting will be awarded in eight contracts

Local firms submitting proposals on eight upcoming engineering contracts will be given an advantage.

At Whitehorse city council’s Feb. 8 meeting, members voted in favour of a weighting of 10 points for local content on a series of projects.

Through a resolution passed in June aimed at supporting local contractors impacted by COVID-19, council is able to set the weighting for local content at up to 20 points.

In this case, city staff recommended 10 points for each of the upcoming projects: a city-wide water and sewer study, a utility and force main condition assessment, Range Road lift station design work, McIntyre Drive traffic calming, a snow dump management plan, groundwater monitoring installation, update to utility bylaws, and the 2023 to 2033 solid waste management plan.

“In these procurements, administration believes the local engineering community possesses the expertise and capacity to undertake the work,” city engineering manager Taylor Eshpeter stated in a report to council. “For local content, a weighting was selected for all the projects to reflect the desire to encourage partnerships with local firms and firms that have a local office.”

New lease approved for KBL

Whitehorse city council has approved a new lease at the landfill for KBL Environmental that will replace the current lease for a one-hectare site the company holds.

Council passed third reading on the bylaw for the new lease at its Feb. 8 meeting.

The new lease came forward as the city plans to upgrade the waste management facility and is looking to use more space that would reduce KBL’s space by half a hectare.

Under the new five-year lease, KBL will pay a rate of $10,750 annually, plus property taxes, insurance premiums and utility charges. The lease includes a renewal option for an additional five years.

KBL is also required to maintain a fence around its site, carry insurance for public liability, environmental impairment and vehicles; and complete an updated environmental site assessment prior to the five-year renewal option.

The city is responsible for road access and would have the option of inheriting improvements made to the site by KBL if they are not removed within six months of the end of the lease.

Both the city and KBL would have the option of terminating the lease with 12 months written notice.

New procedures bylaw passed

A new procedures bylaw means changes to how council deals with civil emergencies and in how public presentations are made to council.

Whitehorse city council approved third reading of the bylaw at its Feb. 8 meeting.

Among the changes is a provision for council to hold a decision-making meeting with shortened or even no notice to the public, without quorum in the case of a civil emergency that “poses an immediate danger to people and/or to public or private property, and for which urgent, timely action by council is required.”

If in those circumstances, a quorum of at least four members cannot be reached, the council members who are available would meet to decide how to handle the emergency.

Then any such decision will be subject to a review by council “at the earliest opportunity when a quorum can reasonably be convened to confirm, modify or overturn the authorization.”

Another change is in how delegations are made to council.

Currently, due to COVID-19, there are temporary measures in place that allow delegates to call in to the meeting or provide written submissions to council that are then read into the record at a meeting. Those provisions will remain in place throughout the pandemic.

When the public is permitted back inside council chambers, regulations under the procedures bylaw will come into effect requiring delegates to register by 1:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Delegates are also required to provide their name, address and contact information as well as the subject of their delegation.

They no longer, however, have to state their addresses during their presentation to council. Instead they will state the area where they live as well as whether they are speaking as an individual or on behalf of an organization.

City writes off nearly $300,000

Whitehorse city council has passed third reading on a bylaw to write off $294,345 it was owed in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees.

Council voted in favour of third reading at its Feb. 8 meeting and after one account owing was paid up.

Telus officials said in a recent email that after learning it was named on one of the outstanding accounts for a total of $1,950, officials reached out to the city and paid off the account as an act of goodwill.

The account comes from an invoice for arena ice advertising that was sent to Telus late instead of the advertising agency that entered into an agreement with the city for the ad space.

The agency has since gone out of business, but Telus opted to pay off the amount.

City staff confirmed that the amount was paid.

The largest of the remaining amounts owed comes from $263,381 in “uncollectible bylaw fines and court fees” between 2008 and 2013.

A further $20,225 is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates.

Three individual accounts ranging between $88.90 and $4,126.55 are also listed as well as a business account for JWC Environmental for $3,133.

On the outstanding $3,133 bill JWC owes the city, it was noted in an earlier report that city administration hasn’t been able to find supporting documents for the balance owed.

“The credit predates 2009 and the vendor has since been acquired by a new firm,” reads the earlier report on the amount owed. “Without the appropriate documentation to claim the credit, the city does not have further recourse in recouping this loss.”

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

Whitehorse city council