Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its Jan. 16 meeting.

Parks building renos moving ahead

As the City of Whitehorse continues working on renos to its building at 139 Tlingit Street, Whitehorse city council has approved moving forward with the procurement for energy upgrades.

Council voted in favour of moving forward with the procurement at its Jan. 16 meeting.

The building in Marwell previously housed the city’s transit department before it moved to the operations building off Range Road in 2020. The structure will now serve as the city’s parks building.

The design includes options with cost estimates that will allow the city to select energy improvements while staying within budget, which totals $800,000 for the entire work to the building.

A contract for the work on energy upgrades is expected to be in place in April with the work anticipated to begin in May and completed by February 2024.

More snow equipment coming the city’s way

It will be another year before the City of Whitehorse has the new snow equipment it budgeted for in the 2023 capital spending plan.

Whitehorse city council approved going to procurement for two graders, two loaders and two dump trucks at its Jan. 16 meeting.

As Tracy Allen, the city’s director of operations, stated in an earlier report to council: “These 2023 procurements are being advanced without delay due to current long lead times for equipment, industry supply issues, and volatility in equipment pricing. Based on the latest industry feedback, it is anticipated that the lead time for this equipment may be approximately 12 months from date of order.”

With council voting to go ahead with the procurement, tender documents will be released this month and a contract is expected to be in place in February.

Travel plans in place

Mayor Laura Cabott and Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu will head to Ottawa in February for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Sustainable Communities Conference.

Whitehorse city council approved the travel expenses for both council members to attend the conference at its Jan. 16 meeting. The conference is happening from Feb. 7 to 10. The mayor will also meet with federal officials after the conference.

Among the topics to be featured at the conference are the environment, climate change, adaptation and reconciliation with First Nations.

Also planning to attend is Coun. Ted Laking, who will be there in his role as president of the Association of Yukon Communities.

Deputy mayor schedule changes approved

The schedule for the City of Whitehorse’ deputy mayors has changed.

At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 16 meeting, a new schedule detailing when each councillor will serve as deputy mayor was approved. It came forward after it was realized Coun. Dan Boyd was listed as both deputy mayor and as reserve deputy mayor for January and February.

Councillors each take two month stints serving as deputy mayor to take on the mayor’s role if needed. A reserve deputy mayor is also in place should the deputy mayor be unable to take on the role of mayor when needed. Councillors take six month stints as reserve deputy mayor.

Boyd was appointed as reserve deputy mayor from Nov. 1 to April 30.

It was only after the appointments were initially made that the error was realized.

“In order to address the existing situation where the deputy and reserve deputy mayor for January and February 2023 are the same person, Coun. Boyd and Coun. (Jocelyn) Curteanu will switch their existing deputy mayor appointment periods beginning Jan. 1, 2023 and Sept. 1, 2023, respectively,” Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services, stated in an earlier report to council. “These adjusted appointments will not affect any other council appointments.”

Under the updated schedule, Curteanu has taken over the current deputy mayor role until Feb. 28. Coun. Michelle Friesen will serve from March 1 to April 30 with Coun. Ted Laking then in the role from May 1 to June 30 and Kirk Cameron from July 1 to Aug. 31. Boyd will then serve as deputy mayor from Sept. 1 until Oct. 31.

Council will vote on the appointments from November 2023 to October 2024 in the fall.

Whistle Bend zoning approved

Whitehorse city council has approved the zoning for four more phases of Whistle Bend.

Council passed second and third readings on the zoning of Phases 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the neighbourhood at its Jan. 16 meeting.

The two sites for Phases 10 and 11 are at the west end of the neighbourhood and would see a combined 210 lots for single family or duplex homes and another 14 multi-family lots as well as a greenbelt, park and public service lot.

Meanwhile, Phase 12 includes 2.2 hectares off Casca Boulevard to the east near Keno Way and Phase 13 comprises 14 ha, west of Casca Boulevard and east of the Whistle Bend Place continuing care facility. Detailed engineering will be done to determine the more precise designations for Phases 12 and 13, though it’s estimated there could be about 350 housing units for an anticipated 850 people.

Inclusivity committee officially in place

The City of Whitehorse’ inclusivity advisory committee can officially get to work.

Whitehorse city council passed third reading of the commencement bylaw for the committee at its Jan. 16 meeting.

Efforts to establish a committee focused on issues of inclusivity and diversity got underway in 2021 with eight members selected to begin work after the commencement bylaw is in place. The committee will make recommendations to council on matters related to inclusivity and diversity.

Volunteer of the Year nominations open

The City of Whitehorse is getting set to recognize community volunteers with nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Award now open.

The award has been given out by the city since 1987, recognizing “an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution to an organization or to the community as a whole.”

While the annual award goes to a single recipient, nominees will also be recognized at the volunteer reception dinner the city will host on April 20.

Those looking to nominate a volunteer can get an application at whitehorse.ca/volunteeroftheyear

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

Whitehorse city council