Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its June 13 meeting.

Community service grants approved

The City of Whitehorse is closer to doling out $158,386 to 17 community organizations through the community services and municipal charges grants for the year.

At Whitehorse city council’s June 13 meeting, members approved the first two readings of the bylaw for the annual grants that are aimed at helping local groups with property taxes and municipal charges.

The largest of the grants would see $44,489 go to the MacBride Museum Society with the smallest — at $100 — going to the Valleyview Community Association.

Others are outlined at $480 to the Downtown Urban Garden Society; $1,240 to the Learning Disabilities Association Yukon; $1,948 to the Hospice Yukon Society; $2,647 to Maryhouse; $4,725 to the Yukon Broomball Association; $5,164 to the Golden Age Society; $5,751 to the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club; $6,291 to the Humane Society Yukon; $8,615 to the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society; $8,945 to the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle; $10,016 to the Whitehorse Legion Branch; $18,429 to the Guild Society; $13,791 to Kaushee’s Place Housing Society; and two grants to Softball Yukon with one being for $24,947 and the other specifically for the Robert Service Way softball diamonds for $741.

Pumphouse project on hold

It will be at least another three months before Whitehorse city council decides whether it will move forward with the planned procurement for the engineering design of a new multi-barrier water treatment system at the Selkirk Pump House.

The project would see the city’s water treatment move from a single barrier treatment method employing only chlorination to a multi-barrier approach.

While city administration brought forward an earlier report showing monitoring/testing results and drinking water regulations showing a need for additional treatment barriers will be needed long-term, Coun. Kirk Cameron suggested spending more time on the matter and working with health advisors to look at risks before spending, perhaps, $60 million-plus on a new system.

While city staff emphasized that figure is a preliminary estimate for the fully-built system, only if the city opted to pursue it following the design phase, council members argued more time should the taken to look at all potential options for the water system.

As Coun. Dan Boyd commented: “I certainly appreciate, again, where the administration is coming from but I do feel like council should actually take some more time on this and and better understand what our options are and what we’re planning to do and where we planning to get this money.”

The issue will come back to council in three months.

Public hearing set

The City of Whitehorse will be welcoming public comment on the proposed rezoning of 12.4 hectares of land on Copper Haul Road at the corner of Mount Sima Road.

Whitehorse city council passed first reading on the proposed rezoning at its June 13 meeting, triggering the public hearing set for the July 11 council meeting.

The site of vacant commissioners land would be zoned for an interim quarry if the rezoning goes ahead.

The proposal would see quarrying happen in five year intervals to a maximum of 25 years so that future development of the land is not restricted. A total of 375,000 cubic metres of aggregate are estimated to be available in the quarry with approximately 15,000 cubic metres to be extracted annually.

Following the July 11 public hearing, a report will come forward to council ahead of second and third reading Aug. 8.

A request on mineral staking

A request will be made by the City of Whitehorse to the Yukon government to extend the moratorium on mineral staking by another five years.

Whitehorse city council voted in favour of making the request at its June 13 meeting, following a report that noted the most recent five-year prohibition was approved in 2017, which extended it to July 19, 2022. This came after similar orders in 2012.

“The proposed extension to the current prohibition order will serve to provide clarity around staking activity in the city until further consultation is conducted through future land use planning initiatives with the Government of Yukon, First Nations governments and industry stakeholders,” Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, told council in an earlier report. “The extension would also allow time for the city’s current OCP review and update process to be completed. This document will provide guidance and certainty on future land use decisions within the municipal boundaries. The consequence of not requesting an extension is that there would be a period of time where staking could occur throughout the city, subject to the provisions of the Quartz Mining Act.”

Conditional use approved

A Stope Way property will become a packaging site for Firebean Coffee Roasters after Whitehorse city council approved the conditional use application to allow a major home based business there on June 13.

Michael and Sarah Russo of Firebean Coffee Roasters applied for a conditional use so their garage can be used for packaging the coffee to then be delivered to retailers in Whitehorse.

A public input session was held on the proposal in late May with the city receiving no submissions, it was noted in a report by Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, delivered at council’s June 6 meeting.

The application was highlighted to be consistent with the city’s Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw.

Whitehorse city council