Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

City will spend $90,000 on new pump

The City of Whitehorse has added the purchase of a new pump for its downtown lift station to the 2021 capital budget.

Whitehorse city council approved the budget change at its April 13 meeting.

The $90,000 for the pump will come from the city’s water and sewer reserve until gas tax funding is approved.

While there are plans to do a full retrofit of the lift station over the next two to three years, immediate repairs are required, it was noted in an earlier report to council.

“A high risk of catastrophic failure at lift station #1 would be present if the interim repairs are delayed or not performed,” Arcadio Rodriguez, a senior technologist with the city, told council at an earlier meeting. “System failure may create flood conditions (sewer backup) in downtown dwellings and commercial locations upstream of the station; as well as a risk of discharging untreated wastewater into the environment if a wastewater diversion measure is undertaken.”

Anti-racism declaration considered

Whitehorse city council has agreed to bring forward an anti-racism declaration with the City of Dawson to the next Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) annual general meeting for all municipalities to adopt.

Whitehorse city council voted to move ahead with the declaration at its April 13 meeting.

If adopted at the AYC level, the declaration would commit AYC to provide members with anti-racism training and education on an annual basis and for the organization to seek external funding for that training as needed.

The resolution also calls on AYC members to provide education and training to staff, elected officials and volunteers that represent the community. It also requires a review of bylaws and policies with an equity and inclusivity lens. It also would require communities to explore and advocate for other actions to build equitable communities, while also exploring participation in the Canadian Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.

Donation approved

The City of Whitehorse won’t be giving away its dirt, but it will provide $500 to the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition so it can purchase the donation it was after.

The coalition will be working on a Ground Share project until September; an initiative focused on growing food and had sought a donation of compost from the city for the project.

“The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition is asking for 100 complimentary bags of compost (valued at $500) to be used to minimize a barrier in participating in the pilot project, and also as a tool to increase the likelihood of a successful harvest,” city planning and sustainability manager Melodie Simard stated in an April 6 report to council.

While the city doesn’t have a method for donating assets (which compost would be classified as), on April 13 council was able to approve a grant of $500 from the council donation account to go towards the project for the coalition to purchase compost.

Drainage, development application changes proposed

Changes could be coming to City of Whitehorse drainage requirements and development applications.

Council approved the first reading for the changes to the zoning bylaw at council’s April 6 meeting.

The changes are aimed at improving and streamlining the development permit process while also creating more clear guidelines around site grading and drainage for properties.

The guidelines for grading and drainage are proposed for more simple developments — such as individual residential lots — at this point, with further guidelines expected to cover more complex developments in the future.

With council’s approval of first reading, a public hearing will be held May 10 with a report on the hearing coming to council June 7 before second and third reading June 14.

Tea for two

Whitehorse seniors are invited to sign up for the free City of Whitehorse’s Takeout Tea Party for Two, before April 29.

The takeout serves as an alternative to the annual senior’s tea event that was a tradition before COVID-19.

In 2020, the city altered the event to offer the takeout tea package.

“This year, we will once again provide seniors with a self-contained tea party package to enjoy in their social bubble,” the city said in an April 14 statement. “Each package includes tea and light snacks for two people.”

Participants are encouraged to take photos of their tea party and share them with the city.

Limited takeout packages are available. Participants can register to get a tea package by emailing rsvp@whitehorse.ca

Whitehorse city council