A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its July 12 meeting, potential flood preparation and a bus stop move.
City continues to prepare for flooding
The City of Whitehorse is continuing to add sandbags to certain parts of the city given high water levels on the Yukon River.
In a July 14 statement, officials said work to create a berm of large sandbags is underway in Marwell with other “super bags” in place at the Bert Law pedestrian bridge to stabilize it. The bridge is closed due to the high water levels.
During a question and answer session with reporters on July 15, officials stressed the city is not yet in an emergency situation but is working from “an abundance of caution.”
Five areas are identified as priority sites. They include the Robert Campbell bridge in and out of Riverdale, Marwell, the Millennium Trail, Wickstrom Road and the Bert Law bridge.
While sandbags are being deployed to areas along the Millennium Trail, Marwell and at the Bert Law bridge, monitoring is also underway at other priority areas.
The city has spent about $460,000 so far on the effort, with the money going to purchase sandbags, inflatable water bladders and a device that will allow for more rapid filling of small sandbags.
City officials are reminding residents to keep a safe distance from the Yukon River. Updates to the city’s situation will continue to be provided on the city’s website at www.whitehorse.ca/flood and through the city’s social media pages. Officials also encourage residents to sign up for the Whitehorse Alert app, which the city may use in case of emergency.
Developer withdraws zoning application
A zoning application that would allow for development at the former tank farm site is no longer being considered by Whitehorse city council.
At council’s July 12 meeting, when the zoning was set to come forward for first reading, it was noted the application had been withdrawn and therefore no vote would be taken on whether to move ahead with the zoning.
The site is located between Hamilton Boulevard and Valleyview/Hillcrest and in the 1940s was a storage area for fuel being transported to Skagway by pipeline. Remediation work has been done in recent years as developers get set to ready the property for development.
The zoning was the most recent change to come forward after the Official Community Plan was amended last year for the first phase of the development.
The zoning would have seen the entire site established as a direct control district, which gives the city more control over what can be developed on site. The proposed zoning would have also allowed commercial/industrial development in Phase 1.
Following the council meeting, acting city manager Valerie Braga said developers had indicated they are considering an alternative plan and may be back to council in the near future.
Land purchase for well approved
Whitehorse city council has confirmed the land acquisition will go ahead for the site that houses its groundwater well on Selkirk Street in Riverdale.
Council passed the final reading of the bylaw for the city to take over ownership of the land.
Currently the city operates the well, under a license of occupation by the Yukon government.
“Acquisition of the land will secure the city’s tenure of Well 6 and there will be no cost to the city to acquire the land,” Kinden Kosick, the city’s subdivision and lands coordinator, stated in an earlier report to council. “As per section 78(1) of the Lands Act land regulations, administration is requesting this parcel be sold for nominal consideration ($1) as a public purpose parcel.”
Kosick also explained owning well properties is viewed as being better for the city for rights to access, maintenance and more.
Transit stop moved
A City of Whitehorse downtown bus stop has been moved.
The city moved the transit stop that was next to the Sternwheeler Hotel at Second Avenue and Wood Street one block north to the Law Courts building.
“The purpose of this move is to improve transit services for our riders and safety for all road users,” the city noted in a July 9 statement announcing the change that came into effect July 12.