Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its May 25 meeting and what’s happening around town.

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its May 25 meeting and what’s happening around town.

Park closed until further notice

The City of Whitehorse has closed Cliffside Park until further notice.

The park, at Sixth Avenue and Taylor Street, downtown was closed May 26 due to the instability of the slope above the park, officials said in a statement.

Fencing and signage was set to be put in place and the slope is being actively monitored by the city, it was noted.

“More information will be available once the park can safely reopen,” the city said.

Input will be sought on LIC policy

Residents will soon be able to learn about and have their say on proposed changes to the City of Whitehorse’s Local Improvement Charge (LIC) policy.

At Whitehorse city council’s May 25 meeting, members voted to move ahead with public consultation on the proposed changes before the policy comes forward for a vote by council in July.

Local improvement charges are costs passed on to benefiting property owners for work such as road improvements, or through the city’s urban electrification program which pays for the work to tie a property into the grid.

In the case of road improvements, benefiting property owners are charged for a portion of the road work (based on the zone, estimated cost and frontage space). The charges are spread over a number of years and with annual amounts added to property tax bills. Benefiting property owners vote on whether they want the LIC to go ahead. If a majority are against it, the city may choose to do the work without the charge or choose to not move forward with the project at all.

Under the proposed changes, LICs would no longer be charged for road improvements. Property owners, however, could sign on to have improvements made to services on their property while the city is doing road work in their area. A voluntary infrastructure loan option would be made available to fund the work to individual properties.

The consultation effort will see the city host a webinar about the proposed changes on June 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with residents invited to register for the event online.

A deadline of June 14 has been set for public comments on the proposed policy to be submitted.

The city also has posted information about the plans on its website.

Lane closure approved

The City of Whitehorse will formally close a lane at the city hall site downtown.

Whitehorse city council approved the final two readings of a bylaw for the lane closure at its May 25 meeting. The closure was brought forward as part of the lot consolidation for the site at Second Avenue and Steele Street. The city is preparing to demolish the fire hall and a portion of city hall. They will then build a new services building and a transit hub and also rebuild and renovate city hall.

The site is currently made up of 12 separate lots and the laneway. Under the proposal, the lots and laneway would be consolidated into one lot before work begins.

The first step is the formal permanent closure of the laneway.

With that approved, the city can move forward with lot consolidation.

Spring rec grants approved

More than 20 local organizations will receive close to $100,000 for a variety of projects, with 13 groups receiving close to $50,000 in operational support.

Whitehorse city council members approved the 2021 spring recreation grants at its May 25 meeting.

There are two streams of funding — one for projects and initiatives with the other for operational costs.

Of the 23 set to receive $97,437 in project funding, the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre will see the largest grant at $7,440 for its Mom and Kids Program while Boreal Adventure Running will receive the smallest grant at $600 for COVID-19 signage to be used at race events.

Meanwhile, in the operation grant category, eight groups will each receive $4,500, the largest amount in that category. They include the Friends of Mount Sima; Golden Age Society; Yukon Church Heritage Society; Yukon Music Camp; and the Yukon Transportation Museum Society all for operations and maintenance costs.

The Mountain View Golf Course received the same amount for electrical maintenance; the Guild Society for utility support; and the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre for facility fees, administration and advertising.

The smallest amount in the category — at $750 — will go to Special Olympics Yukon to be used for electricity.

New joint use agreement adopted

The City of Whitehorse and Yukon government will sign off on an updated joint use agreement.

Whitehorse city council approved third reading of the bylaw for the agreement at its May 25 meeting.

The agreement provides a mechanism for local groups to rent public facilities such as school spaces and for schools to rent city facility space such as ice and pool time at the Canada Games Centre.

The proposed renewed agreement between the two governments would be in place from Sept. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2024.

“Public facility space is highly valued for community use, and under this agreement, it is allocated fairly, equitably and based on demonstrated needs and benefits to the community, with youth-oriented activities as the highest priority,” the city’s customer service supervisor Teresa Acheson stated in an earlier report to council.

Bike Rodeo set for June 1

Kids between the ages of five and 14 have a chance to test out their cycling skills, learn about bike maintenance and add some flair to their rides.

The City of Whitehorse is hosting a bike rodeo at Shipyards Park from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1.

There, young cyclists can bring their bikes and helmets, make their way through an obstacle course and decorate their bike. There will also be an opportunity to learn about bike maintenance and how to go about making minor bike repairs when needed.

The event is free, but participants are asked to register in advance at whitehorse.ca/play.

The event comes in the midst of Bike to Work and School Week from May 31 to June 6. Cyclists can log their kilometres cycled at yukonbiketowork.ca to be entered into a draw for prizes. There’s also a scavenger hunt and bike bingo events to participate in.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Whitehorse city council