A look at city issues and discussions by Whitehorse city council at its Feb. 7 meeting.
2027 Canada Winter Games
The City of Whitehorse announced an agreement between the 2027 Canada Winter Games Bid Committee and the City of Fort St. John, British Columbia that would bring the long track speed skating portion of the 2027 Games to the B.C. community.
“The bid committee evaluated its options for providing a venue for long track speed skating, and determined that the best choice would be the impressive indoor facility in Fort St. John,” said Piers McDonald, chair of the bid committee, in a Feb. 10 statement. “It is better for the athletes’ experience, and more reliable and cost effective than an outdoor option. We are confident the Canada Games Council will receive this option favourably.”
The bid committee has secured the option in principle, and the host society will be responsible for its implementation.
“In addition to sports, the Games also help unite Canadians, build partnerships, and create lasting legacies for communities,” said Whitehorse Mayor Laura Cabott. “I want to thank Mayor Lori Ackerman and the City of Fort St. John for opening up their community to Whitehorse.”
Fort St. John city council will officially vote on the proposed arrangement at its Feb. 14 meeting.
“As winter citizens, we do winter well and so without a doubt, we are pleased to support the City of Whitehorse in their bid for the 2027 Canada Winter Games and we look forward to hosting our country’s best long-track speed skaters at the Pomeroy Sport Centre,” stated Ackerman.
Fort St. John’s long track speed skating oval was also used by the City of Prince George during the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and is one of four indoor Olympic-sized long-track speed skating ovals in North America.
The City of Whitehorse and the Government of Yukon are working together to submit a bid for the 2027 Canada Winter Games. The full bid package will be submitted in July 2022, with a decision by the Canada Games Council expected towards the end of 2022.
Lift station work planned
The City of Whitehorse could add another $500,000 to its budget to replace the Range Road sewage lift station.
At Whitehorse city council’s Feb. 7 meeting, engineering manager Taylor Eshpeter brought forward a recommendation that council add the funds, from the city’s portion of the federal gas tax, to the project and authorize administration to move forward on procurement for the work.
The change comes after the project was initiatlly budgeted for $2.4 million. Detailed design for the work determined the additional $500,000 would be required.
Eshpeter noted the lift station and forcemain were built in the early 1960s and there are now frequent operational problems.
“A proactive replacement of the lift station at this time will be more cost effective than further maintenance and upgrades,” he said.
If council approves the budget changes and procurement going ahead, a tender would be released this month with the contract to be awarded in April, the same month work would begin. It’s expected the new lift station would be in place by November.
Council will vote on the budget and contract award Feb. 14.
New lease proposed
A new lease could soon be in place for the Frostbite Music Society for the 280 squre metre site it leases in Shipyards Park.
The proposed lease came forward at Whitehorse city council’s Feb. 7 meeting.
As Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services explained, the music society has used the site for its Chambers House building since 2007. The most recent lease expired in 2019 and it is now in an over-hold status.
“Administration has negotiated the terms of a new lease with Frostbite, which include a 10 year term and an increase to the lease area to include a new para-ramp to the building,” Ross said.
He went on to state that Frostbite “fits the vision for the area as it contributes to the cultural amenities in the area through its hosting of the Jenni House artist in residence winter program, musical performances and training, as well as the home for community radio station CJUC. It is similar to the other occupants in Shipyards Park, Yukon Literacy Coalition and Yukon Film Society. Additionally, the Chambers House is occupied year-round and provides a presence in the park that contributes to crime prevention and preventing vandalism.”
Under the terms of the lease, rent would be $10 per year, plus any applicable property taxes, insurance and utility charges.
Council will vote whether to move forward with the new lease at its Feb. 14 meeting.
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