Joel Krahn/Yukon News file Whitehorse City Hall.

Cook Street property owners could be charged for road and water improvements

Whitehorse City Council is considering a local improvement charge

Whitehorse City Council was asked by administration to consider a bylaw which, if passed, would charge a total of $485,000 in local improvement charges (LIC) to Cook Street property owners.

Cook Street “is identified for full reconstruction of the roadway and deep utilities,” Taylor Eshpeter, manager of engineering services for the city, told council at the March 18 standing committees meeting.

The project extends from Fourth Avenue to the escarpment. That area needs the water and sewer mains replaced to meet increased usage and to be brought up to code.

The water services also need to be replaced to meet frost protection standards and improve efficiency in water distribution, he said. The project will also improve landscaping and street lighting, add in sidewalks and angle parking, improve drainage through the addition of concrete curbs and gutters, and resurface the asphalt on the road.

“By replacing aging water and sewer infrastructure on Cook Street the project will contribute towards meeting sustainability goals by reducing the amount of water wasted,” Eshpeter said.

The work is scheduled to begin as early as spring 2020 and will cost $7.4 million, all of which – with the exception of the $485,000 administration is being asked be generated through the proposed LIC – will come from the capital budget, city reserves or federal funding.

The federal funding has not yet been approved yet but the project meets eligibility for the Investing in Canada Plan he said.

The proposed LIC cost for residences and not-for-profits is $645.52 per metre of frontage, $1,291.04 per metre for commercial buildings and $1,936.56 per metre of buildings owned by the government.

Overall, individual bills could range from From approximately $8,000 to nearly $23,000. Owners have the option to amortize these costs over a 15 year period or pay them all up front.

The LIC process was begun by the engineering department July 25, 2018, with letters sent of affected property owners, Eshpeter said. There was an open house and an online survey to provide information and collect feedback on the project and “follow-up by phone… (for) property owners who had not responded to either of these opportunities,” he noted.

“In general, feedback has been positive,” Eshpeter said.

Coun. Samson Hartland pointed out that LICs have been “challenging” for council in the past. In May 2017, residents of Hillcrest voted down a controversial LIC for their neighborhood which would have seen the average homeowner shelling out $15,000 to pay for the proposed repairs.

Coun. Steven Roddick wanted to know what would happen if the LIC were not to pass, but the area continued to need these important repairs.

“It should be noted that the LICs are solely a financing source used for reconstruction projects. Council has the option to proceed with the project without using LIC charges as a source of funding but would need to amend the budget (to make up the difference),” Eshpeter added.

Roddick noted that was, in his opinion, a positive, as it meant the city wasn’t “handcuffed” to the process.

Council will put the matter to a first reading vote at the March 25 standing committees meeting.

If they vote in favour of the LIC bylaw, notices will be mailed out to property owners March 27, followed by a public hearing April 23.

Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@yukon-news.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon artist’s work featured in national exhibit

Nicole Favron named as Yukon winner for 2020 BMO Art! competition

Higher camping fees, new campground, reconciliation efforts feature in Yukon parks 10-year strategy

Creating a new campground within two hours of Whitehorse, introducing higher camping… Continue reading

UPDATED: Driver in alleged Whitehorse gun-pointing incident arrested

Christopher Dick, 24, charged with obstructing a peace officer, failing to comply with release order

YG and pharmacies preparing for flu vaccine distribution

The Yukon government is preparing for flu season and encouraging people to… Continue reading

Non-resident tests positive for COVID-19

The individual has been hospitalized in Whitehorse

Hot Hounds bikejor race serves as lone summer competition

Held in Mount Lorne, the race was organized by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon

Whitehorse operations building officially open

Staff are taking phased approach to moving in

North of Ordinary Experience Centre shutting down

COVID-19 has caused bookings for the space to become almost non-existent, owner says

Canada Games Centre could get new playground

Council to vote on contract award

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Harescramble brings out motorcycle community

This year’s event included 67 riders

YG seeks members for youth climate change panel

“Yukon youth deserve to have their voices heard”

Yukon NDP hold AGM

This year’s meeting was held virtually

Most Read