Joel Krahn/Yukon News file Whitehorse City Hall.

City news, briefly

Some of the discussions from the Jan. 9th meeting of Whitehorse city council

Whitehorse releases year-end reports on 2019 spending

As the City of Whitehorse closes its 2019 books, officials are looking more precisely at what was spent.

At council’s Jan. 6 meeting, Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, brought forward reports dealing with spending in 2019.

The first reported the city handed out a total of $650,636 in grants and donations — both through cash and in-kind help over the course of the year.

They included grants ranging from recreation grants to environmental grants to funds doled out to non-profits who did community cleanup work.

City manager Linda Rapp noted when questioned by Coun. Samson Hartland that Lotteries Yukon provides some funding to the city for grants, though most are funded through the city.

Meanwhile Dixon reported the city’s capital spending plan increased substantially from the original $8.9 million that was set out when the capital budget was adopted.

“Council and administrative amendments of $51,336,270 were made including $34,190,520 in approved re-budgets, $13,179,800 in Appendix B projects (funded from external sources that were moved to Appendix A once a contribution agreement was signed), and $3,965,950 in other amendments. The revised total capital budget is now $60,246,605.”

On the operating side, the city spent $40,871 more than it had planned on the operating side, bringing the total operating budget up to $81.3 million.

All of the budget changes were approved individually throughout the year.

Council will vote on whether to go forward with bylaws governing the 2019 budgets and grants at its Jan. 13 meeting.

Council members could be heading to Ottawa

Mayor Dan Curtis and Coun. Dan Boyd could be on their way to Ottawa in the near future.

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, brought forward a recommendation at council’s Jan. 6 meeting that travel and expenses and the daily stipend amount for councillors representing the city be approved for Boyd to attend the Canadian Capital Cities’ Organization winter meeting in Ottawa later in January.

She also recommended that travel and expenses be approved for Mayor Dan Curtis to attend the Arctic Inspiration Prize awards ceremony in February “to participate in the announcement that it will return to Whitehorse in 2021.”

Coun. Laura Cabott asked for a more detailed agenda for both events.

Curtis highlighted the Arctic Inspiration Prize as the funding source of a number of projects that have benefited the territory.

Boyd, meanwhile, said along with standard business items that come up at board meetings (financial statements, strategic planning and the like), there’s a number of topics to be discussed such as follow up to the capital cities tulip program in 2019, Christmas lights programs and art in capital buildings.

Council will vote on the travel expenses Jan. 13.

City of Whitehorse to write off $30,000

Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, is proposing the City of Whitehorse write off close to $30,000 owed to the city.

Dixon brought forward a report showing the city’s annual list of uncollectible accounts at council’s Jan. 6 meeting.

The list details amounts owing where the city has exhausted its collection procedures and there’s little hope of being paid what its owed.

The 2019 total show $27,817 owed to the city with most of that being $22,350 in parking fines issued to vehicles that had non-Yukon license plates through 2018.

“The City does not receive information as to the registered vehicle owners not licensed in the Yukon and therefore we have no recourse to collect these fines. Currently parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates have a 50% collection rate,” Dixon said in her report.

“In 2018 there was 1,783 parking tickets issued to non-Yukon license plates and the City received full payment for 869 of these. The fines included in the bylaw were issued in 2018 and remain unpaid as of December 2019.”

Given the amount and the city’s inability to collect the fines, Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu questioned why the city even issues parking fines to vehicles not licensed in the Yukon.

Dixon said the 50 per cent collection rate on parking fines for non-Yukon vehicles is higher than a number of other cities Outside and to Whitehorse officials that likely seems worth it.

Other uncollectible amounts include $136.78 worth of uncollectible finance charges that were under $15 each; amounts of $4,126 and $1,151 in two separate cases of repayment schedules being breached (both cases have been sent to collection agencies); and finally $52.50 for interest on a non-sufficient funds payment at the Canada Games Centre.

Council will vote Jan. 13 on whether to move ahead with a bylaw to write off the uncollectible accounts.

Whitehorse city council