Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed at Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 22 meeting and work on the city’s upcoming transportation master plan.

Concerns expressed over utility rebate

A Whitehorse resident is calling for changes to the city’s senior utility rebate.

Linda Casson addressed Whitehorse city council as a delegate at its Nov. 22 meeting, arguing the rebate should include a portion for garbage for those who live in country residential areas of town.

The rebate to a maximum of $500 per year is available to property owners aged 65 and older, or their surviving spouses, as a rebate for fees paid for water, sewer and garbage services.

As Casson explained, while those in country residential areas aren’t on the city’s waste collection system and therefore not charged or receive a rebate for that, she and others haul their waste to the city’s landfill and pay the city’s tipping fees , along with the gas, wear and tear on their vehicle and such.

“I encourage you as the new council to revisit the bylaw and pass amendments to clearly include country residential and explore other rebate opportunities to treat those of us seniors living in country (residential) equitably as the seniors (on the city’s collection system),” she said.

Casson suggested the city consider a flat annual rate for seniors living in country residential areas that would reflect the average cost of bringing waste to the landfill or, perhaps, a credit to use the dump with the amount to a maximum based on previous years expenses.

Utility grant applications for 2021 are due by Dec. 31.

Housing incentive proposed

Developers of a 32-unit condo project may find themselves with a grant for development cost charges on it.

A proposed development incentive on the project, located at 25 Gleaner Avenue was brought forward to Whitehorse city council at its Nov. 22 meeting by Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services.

He said the plans meet the criteria specified for the incentive that the density of a project be 50 per cent greater than the minimum required.

As Ross explained, the goal of the incentive for the multiresidential zone is “to encourage smaller, denser housing forms in targeted areas.”

The development will see four buildings that each feature eight two-bedroom units built on the 0.403 hectare lot. The proposal results in a density of 79 units per hectare.

“This meets the minimum requirement for eligibility for an RCM2 zone development incentive and conforms to all city zoning regulations,” Ross said. “Therefore, the development incentive application is being brought forward for council approval.”

If approved, the incentive will cover the full development cost charges for the project, estimated at $69,920.

Council will vote whether to approve the incentive Nov. 29.

City could provide more than $15,000 in environmental grants

Three local groups could receive close to $16,000 for environmental projects.

At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 22 meeting, acting planning and sustainability manager Sara Thompson recommended that council approve environmental grants to the three groups.

“The City of Whitehorse is committed to encouraging and enabling societies, commercial organizations, and schools to be active partners in achieving the city’s sustainability goals,” she said.

Under the grants the Yukon Invasive Species Council would receive $7,250 towards its sweet clover outreach project, the Yukon Queer Society would receive $6,824 for its Grow & Go project, and the Whitehorse Tool Library would receive $1,900 for the library.

Council will vote on the grants Nov. 29.

Appointments and schedule

As a new Whitehorse city council begins its term, members are deciding what next year’s schedule will look like for meetings as well as which members will serve on various groups and committees.

Recommendations came forward for both at council’s Nov. 22 meeting.

The schedule proposed would see council meet each Monday for the first four Mondays of the month at 5:30 p.m., or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday, with the exception of the final two weeks of August when the annual summer recess would happen and for the final two weeks in December for a winter recess.

Among the board appointments from Nov. 30 to Oct. 31, 2022, councillors Ted Laking and Mellisa Murray would serve on the Association of Yukon Communities, Coun. Michelle Friesen would serve on Crime Stopper, Coun. Dan Boyd would represent the city on the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and Coun. Kirk Cameron would serve on the Capital Cities Organization.

Council will vote on the schedule and appointments Nov. 29.

The future of transportation

The City of Whitehorse is asking residents how they want to move around town as it gets set to update its Transportation Master Plan.

The city launched the public engagement portion of the work on Nov. 23 with both virtual and in-person events planned to get public feedback.

A webinar will be held Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. with a public open house scheduled for Dec. 7 at Yukonstruct on Second Avenue from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“These events will focus on exploring key issues, opportunities, challenges for the Whitehorse TMP project, and transportation in general,” the city said in a statement.

Residents can visit www.whitehorsetmp.ca for details on the project.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse city council