A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its Sept. 21 meeting.
Reports outline city spending in first six months of the year
Whitehorse city council was presented with the reports detailing spending in the first half of the year and projections to the end of the year.
Brittany Dixon, the city’s acting manager of financial services, highlighted the results of each report on the operating and capital budgets at council’s Sept. 21 meeting.
Looking at the operating budget, which totals $88.1 million for the year, Dixon said a surplus is expected.
“The 2021 second quarter variance projection shows that total operating revenues are expected to be under budget by $608,258 and expenses will be under budget by $1.5 million,” she said. “Therefore, projections to Dec. 31, 2021 as compared to the revised budget indicate an operating surplus of $952,657.”
Under budget expenses are attributed largely to staff vacancies, while the reduced revenues are being attributed to a reduction in recreation, parking and transit revenue.
Dixon noted the budget had been drafted with consideration given to the impact of COVID-19.
“These adjustments include reduced revenue expectations at the Canada Games Centre for the first three months of the year and increased transit cleaning costs for the year,” she stated in her report. “However, additional losses to the city in the form of unrealized revenues are expected to be incurred.”
Speaking to the city’s $83.7 million capital spending plan, Dixon said there are some projects that have been delayed due to staff vacancies, material shortages, and contractor availability.
“However, many projects are proceeding as planned with some projects expected to come forward through the re-budget process or resubmitted as part of the 2022 budgeting process,” she said.
Hidden Valley property owner applies for urban electrification program
The City of Whitehorse could be assisting a Hidden Valley property owner with the cost getting the property on the grid.
At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 21 meeting, members were presented with a recommendation to move forward with a bylaw for a local improvement charge under the urban electrification program at 7 Cranberry Place.
Under the program, which has been in place since 1998, the city assists with the cost of getting electricity to the property by financing the work, with the property owner paying back the cost through a local improvement charge added to property taxes.
Council will vote Sept. 27 whether to move forward with the bylaw for the LIC.
Roadwork in Mary Lake discussed
While resurfacing work to Mary Lake roads is largely complete, city officials acknowledge there are some deficiencies that will be addressed.
At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 21 meeting, Coun. Laura Cabott noted a number of emails, comments and concerns have come to council from residents of the area disappointed with the BST work done by a contractor.
Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, explained the surfacing is such that it requires vehicles to be driven on it to smooth out the surface. While there is loose gravel not bounded to the surface, Gau said as the road is driven on more over time it will smooth out.
He also noted the deficiencies in a number of potholes that have formed due to rain, citing plans in the works to fix them as soon as possible, depending on weather.
Parts ordered for Crestview water services
Parts have been ordered to fix water services in Crestview.
A water pressure issue in the neighbourhood has seen fire hydrants there out of commission for months (with mutual aid agreements in place that could get more water to the neighbourhood if necessary).
At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 21 meeting, Coun. Dan Boyd asked for an update on the situation with staff noting equipment has been ordered to fix the problem with a pump that was causing low pressure.
Staff is waiting for the part to be shipped across the border and anticipate knowing a better expected arrival date within the next two to three weeks.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org