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

Meeting rescheduled

Whitehorse city council’s April 12 meeting has been moved to April 13.

Council voted March 22 to move the April 12 meeting to the following evening “to facilitate the participation of council members and staff in the territorial election.”

Along with changing the date of the April 12 meeting, deputy mayor Jan Stick issued a reminder council will not be meeting the week of March 29 as council meetings aren’t typically held on the fifth Monday in a month, as is the case next week.

The regularly scheduled April 5 meeting has also been moved to April 6 in light of Easter Monday.

Rebudgeting passes first two readings

Close to $33 million is expected to soon move to the city’s 2021 capital budget after Whitehorse city council passed the first two readings of a bylaw to rebudget projects from 2020 at its March 22 meeting.

Typically there are a number of capital projects that don’t proceed or get completed in a year. They may be moved into the budget for the following year.

As Brittany Dixon, the city’s acting manager of financial services, explained in an earlier report to council, many projects last year were delayed due to COVID-19. Dixon also highlighted reasons outside of COVID-19 for some budget items being shifted from the 2020 year to 2021. Multi-year projects are budgeted in the first year in order to award the contract with funding then moved out to subsequent years, or goods may have been ordered but not received prior to the end of the year.

“It is anticipated that, if approved, most of the rebudgeted projects will be completed in 2021,” Dixon said.

City will update tax lien list

The names of Whitehorse property owners with outstanding property tax bills will soon be published after Whitehorse city council voted March 22 to sign off on its annual tax lien list.

The list is published annually detailing outstanding amounts in property taxes, interest and penalties owing.

At council’s March 15 meeting, Brittany Dixon, the city’s acting manager of financial services, brought forward the proposed 2020 list with a recommendation the city seal be affixed to it and the list published.

It includes a total of 33 properties where tax amounts owed range from $111.10 to $5,004 for a total of $65,418.

That compares to $166,798 owed in 2019 for 65 properties.

“It is expected that the reduction in the number of properties between prior year and current year is due to the extended tax deadline,” Dixon said, referring to the extension to Sept. 2 from July 2 due to COVID.

The list will be updated before it is published to ensure it reflects only those with amounts owing.

Transit pass grant approved

Safe At Home will receive a $575 grant from the City of Whitehorse for the 250 bus tickets as it, and other community partners, get set for the next Point in Time count on April 13 and 14.

Council approved the grant at its March 22 meeting.

The count is used to determine the extent of homelessness in the community at a single point in time.

During the count, trained volunteers will be in the community, at the emergency shelter and at service organizations to count and survey those who may be experiencing homelessness.

Safe At Home asked for the 250 bus tickets as an incentive for people to take part in the survey as well as a tool for volunteers to connect with potential participants.

While council can’t waive fees, it can provide a grant for the tickets through the council donation account.

“Council could view this as a nominal cost for the city, as a partner, to contribute to the Safe At Home involvement in the (Point in Time) count,” Jeff O’Farrell, the city’s manager of community and recreation services, said in an earlier report to council.

Surfacing work considered

Roads in Mary Lake are set to get a makeover this year after Whitehorse city council voted March 22 to release the tender for the work.

Council must first authorize procurement to go ahead on any contracts anticipated to be worth over $500,000, as is the case for this project.

The project will see a number of streets or sections of road resurfaced in the neighbourhood.

The city typically conducts a rural road-resurfacing project each year in different, usually rural, subdivisions with Mary Lake being the focus of the 2021 initiative.

The tender is anticipated to be issued April 1 with the contract to be awarded by May 15. The work would begin June 15 with an expected completion date of July 31.

Open burning season extended

The Whitehorse Fire Department has extended the open burning season beyond March 31 thanks to the remaining snowpack and gradual warming temperatures.

Those with burning permits or wanting new permits can contact deputy fire chief Chris Green at chris.green@whitehorse.ca to do so.

Under the regulations, at no time can a fire be ignited before receiving approval. Permits will be revoked if conditions become unfavourable, it was noted by the city.

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

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