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

City hall, briefly

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

Rezoning proposed

A zoning change to a 2.9-hectare parcel of Yukon government land at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street would prevent single family and duplex homes from being built there.

City of Whitehorse planner Hannah McDonald brought forward the proposed change at city council’s May 19 meeting.

As she told council the Yukon government is working towards developing the property with housing units.

With half the site near the clay cliffs in a moderate geohazard zone, it’s anticipated a berm will be built along the west side of the property to protect it against the slope instability. It has not yet been determined whether the city or territory would be responsible for the building of the berm, and a trail over top of the berm that would connect to the city’s downtown trail network.

McDonald outlined the city’s Official Community Plan and the Downtown South Master Plan in highlighting the importance of higher density development.

The OCP identifies the site for mixed-use residential and commercial development while the downtown south plan highlights it as an undeveloped site that has the potential for higher density mixed-use development.

“Because this area is located further away from the Downtown commercial core and other arterial roads, the development mix is expected to include more residential than commercial uses,” McDonald said.

To ensure more units can be built on the site, the zoning change that will prohibit single family and duplex homes from being built is proposed, she said.

As Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, told council, there could only be up to 25 single family homes if those were the only types of homes built there.

Meanwhile, hundreds of multiple family homes could be built.

With a 25 metre building height in place for the area, there is significant potential for many units. Gau said somewhere in the “neighbourhood of 300” are anticipated though the precise number will depend on what is ultimately proposed.

“It depends on design,” he said.

Council members will vote May 25 on first reading of the rezoning. If approved, a public hearing would be held June 15 with a report on that coming forward at council’s June 23 meeting. Council would then vote on the final two readings June 29.

Tlingit Street reconstruction contracts could soon be awarded

With the rebuilding of Tlingit Street in Marwell set to happen this summer, the City of Whitehorse is getting ready to award a number of contracts for the work.

The work will see the road rebuilt from Copper Road to Platinum Road with power poles relocated and street light upgrades also planned.

Taylor Eshpeter, the city’s engineering manager, brought forward the three contracts beginning with the work to relocate power poles carrying ATCO and Northwestel infrastructure and upgrades to street lighting.

Eshpeter proposed sole sourcing that portion of the work to ATCO Electric Yukon and Northwestel, noting quotes have been received from both on the work needed specific to their infrastructure.

“As these two utilities will complete the work themselves, which is the only available option, a sole source award is required,” he said, noting the city will need a vote from council to waive the purchasing policy and sole source the work.

ATCO’s portion of the work would see six power poles installed along with 11 LED street lights, overhead and underground wire as well as street light cable and supporting materials.

“The estimated cost to complete this work is $105,850, less a $13,640 contribution by ATCO for a total cost of $92,210 plus GST,” Eshpeter wrote, noting that ATCO’s contribution is coming in the form of the lights at a cost of $1,240 per light.

Meanwhile, Northwestel’s portion of the project would cost $35,874 plus GST with that effort seeing the reconfiguration of copper and coaxial cable lines that are associated with relocating the power poles.

While the infrastructure work may be sole sourced, the city did put out a tender for the road work itself and Eshpeter put forward the recommendation that contract be awarded to PS Sidhu Trucking for $4.79 million.

PS Sidhu had the lowest of three compliant bids with the others coming from Castle Rock Enterprises and Norcope Enterprises.

Council will vote on all three contracts at its May 25 meeting.

City readies for winter

Spring may be in full swing with hints of summer on the way, but City of Whitehorse staffers are readying the next winter season.

At the May 19 city council meeting, operations manager Richard Graham brought forward a recommendation that Skookum Asphalt be awarded the contract to supply the city with crushed sand and that NSC Minerals be awarded the contract to supply road salt for the next winter season.

Skookum put forward a price of $229,633 for 9,000 tonnes of 10 millimetre sand and 5,000 tonnes of five mm sand.

As Graham explained this marks the first year the city is ordering the smaller sized sand — a “bit of a test project” — to see whether it will work better on icy roads that have little snow cover.

Meanwhile, on the salt contract NSC submitted a price of $174,933 for 570 tonnes of road salt.

Council will vote on the two contracts May 25.

City eyes up steamer purchase

The City of Whitehorse may be making a purchase this year that was originally planned for 2021.

At city council’s May 19 meeting, operations manager Richard Graham brought forward a recommendation council approve the purchase of a new mobile steamer truck.

The machines are used to thaw frozen infrastructure like storm sewers, creeks, drainage courses, water and sewer mains, and manholes as well as thawing the ground for digging jobs and other work.

The provisional budget for 2021 included $455,000 in gas tax funding for a new mobile steamer unit to replace this one that was originally purchased by the city in 1982.

A crack in the boiler mounted on the truck that can’t be repaired has made it unusable, Graham said, noting that means the truck has to be replaced now rather than next year as planned.

The city put out a request for information in April and based on that is now ready to move forward with a tender, pending council’s vote on the budget change.

“Should this budget amendment request be approved, a request for tender would be released and administration would anticipate delivery of the new unit in early 2021,” Graham stated in his report. “If delivery is delayed, the city will continue renting equipment to enable water and waste services to provide the services required.”

Council will vote on the budget change May 25.

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

Whitehorse city council

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