City news, briefly

Some of the discussions from Whitehorse city council on Jan 20

Whitehorse eyes a new compressor for the CGC

A new compressor could be coming to the Canada Games Centre, provided Whitehorse city council approves spending $65,000 for the piece of equipment.

As Peter O’Blenes, the city’s director of infrastructure and operations, told council at its Jan. 20 meeting one of the three compressors used for the ice refrigeration system at the rec centre failed — likely due to a premature bearing failure — in December and the compressor needs to be replaced.

The city is operating the facility with the other two compressors, but O’Blenes said if either of the other two were to break it would “cause loss of artificial ice as well as loss of the waste heat supply to the facility”.

The compressor was originally installed when the CGC was built in 2005 and any warranty that was on the equipment has expired, O’Blenes told council when questioned by Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu.

It’s expected the other two compressors will last another two to three years, O’Blenes said.

Gas tax funding is available for the new compressor.

Council will vote on the spending Jan. 27.

No complaints about Whitehorse operating budget

No changes are proposed for the 2020 operating budget as Whitehorse city council gets set to consider the final two readings of bylaws governing the $84.7-million spending plan.

At council’s Jan. 20 meeting, Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, brought forward a public input report on the proposed operating budget.

The report was quite short with Dixon noting there were no presentations during the public input session. No written submissions were received.

That was despite advertising about input opportunities in local media, on social media and through the city’s website.

She did note that there was some initial input that came in when the city was getting set to draft the budget.

Included in the operating budget are provisions for property taxes to rise 2.2 per cent and water and sewer rates to increase 1.71 per cent.

Council will vote Jan. 27 on whether to move forward with the bylaws governing the 2020 operating budget.

City of Whitehorse owed more than $163,00 in taxes

City of Whitehorse officials are aiming to take the next step forward in collecting more than $163,000 owed in taxes.

A recommendation came forward Jan. 20 to Whitehorse city council for the go ahead to publish the list of property owners who still owe taxes.

Currently the 2019 list is made up of 63 unpaid property tax bills ranging from $367 to $7,565, though the list could change by the time it’s published as it will be updated until publication for those who pay up.

By comparison in 2018, there were 55 outstanding property tax bills totaling $176,370.

If property tax bills continue to go unpaid, letters will be sent to the property owners in February and March with a goal of collecting.

“Each property on this list will be levied an administration fee and will be subject to further collection procedures if the account is not paid within 60 days,” Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, stated in her report to council.

“Those steps include initial application for title to the property after 12 months and final application for title to the mediation board after a further six months. If the taxes remain outstanding, the title to the property is transferred to the city and, assuming the city has no use for the property, it is disposed of at fair market value with any surplus returned to the previous owner.”

Members of city council will vote Jan. 27 whether to approve the list of unpaid taxes.

Whitehorse city council

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