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

City hall, briefly

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

June 15 targeted for CGC reopening

If all goes according to plan, the Canada Games Centre will open its doors to the public again on June 15.

The rec centre closed March 18 due to COVID-19 and like many facilities in the territory is now getting set to reopen.

June 15 is the date targeted for Phase 1 of the three-phase reopening plan, which has now been released publically. It also provides details on the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre and Takhini Arena.

The plan has been approved by the territory’s chief medical officer of health.

The first phase for the Canada Games Centre will see the running track, hard-surfaced flexi-hall and wellness studio opened with limitations.

Fitness classes, with modifications including some classes that will be hosted outdoors, will also resume in the first phase.

Summer day camps are also listed to open with modifications along with other outdoor programming at parks “with appropriate measures and group size.”

Meeting rooms will also be available to rent, including the Grey Mountain Room at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.

There are no set dates for Phases 2 and 3 of the city’s plan, though the plan does detail what would be reopened in each.

Phase 2 at the CGC would see arenas opened for user groups and modified drop-in activities, limited use of the field house, and the aquatic centre reopened to user groups and limited drop-in that would include lane swimming during registered times, aquatic fitness classes with registered access and swim lessons with modifications.

Phase 3 would see the CGC fully reopened with programming, public swims, large group events and so on.

Takhini Arena would be prepared for an Oct. 1 opening as per its usual schedule.

As is highlighted in the plan, changes could be made at any point based on public health guidelines.

“This gradual process means that some services will restart sooner than others and allows for time at each phase to educate, monitor, adjust and evaluate before moving on to the next,” it’s noted. “Note that the plan is subject to change in order to align with guidelines and recommended put forth by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.”

Tlingit Street construction contracts awarded

Whitehorse city council has awarded contracts that will see Tlingit Street in Maxwell rebuilt this year.

Council members voted in favour of the contract awards at their May 25 meeting.

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

Among the three contracts is the work to relocate power poles carrying ATCO and Northwestel infrastructure and upgrades to street lighting, with that work being sole sourced to the two companies.

“As these two utilities will complete the work themselves, which is the only available option, a sole source award is required,” city engineering manager Taylor Eshpeter told council at an earlier meeting.

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 in his report, 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 will cost $35,874 plus GST with that effort seeing the reconfiguration of copper and coaxial cable lines associated with relocating the power poles.

While the infrastructure work will be sole sourced, the city did put out a tender for the road work itself and that was 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.

Coun. Laura Cabott said she’s pleased the work will go ahead, highlighting Marwell as an important neighbourhood in the city.

Rezoning passes first reading

Whitehorse city council has approved first reading of a zoning change to a 2.9-hectare parcel of Yukon government land at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street that would prevent single family and duplex homes from being built there.

Council passed first reading at its May 25 meeting, thereby moving the proposal on to a public hearing, which will be held June 15.

The Yukon government is working towards developing the property for housing.

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.

In a previous report city planner Hannah McDonald outlined the city’s Official Community Plan and the Downtown South Master Plan, 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 with 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.

Before voting in favor of first reading, a number of council members stated they look forward to now hearing from residents of the area and others interested in the zoning change.

Following the June 15 public hearing, a report will come forward at council’s June 23 meeting. Council would then vote on the final two readings June 29.

City readies for winter

The City of Whitehorse is getting set for the winter season, with council members voting May 25 to award the supply contracts for sand and road salt.

While Skookum Asphalt will supply the city with crushed sand, NSC Minerals has been 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 Richard Graham, city operations manager explained at the May 19 meeting, 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.

City will buy new steamer

The City of Whitehorse will purchase the mobile steamer truck it was planning to purchase in 2021 this year instead.

At Whitehorse city council’s May 25 meeting, members approved the purchase.

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, city operations manager Richard Graham told council at its May 19 meeting, noting that means the truck has to be replaced now rather than next year as planned.

With the budget change approved for 2020, a tender will now be released for the supply of the truck.

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

Whitehorse city council

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