A car is driven down Cook Street in Whitehorse on May 28. Whitehorse city council passed the final two readings of the local improvement charge bylaw for the proposed street work at its June 10 meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Cook Street property owners will face LIC

Road work is planned for 2020

Cook Street property owners from Fourth Avenue onwards to the escarpment will be faced with a local improvement charge (LIC).

Whitehorse city council members passed the final two readings of the bylaw governing the LIC at its June 10 meeting.

LICs are billed to benefitting property owners when surface work is done to a street. In this case the city is proposing to rebuild Cook Street from Fourth Avenue to the clay cliffs in 2020.

The entire project would see water and sewer mains replaced (the new water main will be larger in order to increase service capacity); the addition of a recirculation system to prevent pipes from freezing; a new road surface and barrier-free sidewalks.

Property owners will begin paying the bills in 2021 with payments amortized over a maximum of 15 years.

Under the territory’s Municipal Act, property owners have the opportunity to vote against proposed LICs. Unreturned ballots are viewed as being in favour of the LIC and if a majority vote against the charge, it doesn’t go ahead. In cases where the majority vote against the LIC, the city can decide whether it will proceed with the project without the charge though typically the work doesn’t go ahead.

In this case, a total of 15 ballots (of a potential 41) were returned with just three registering opposition to the LIC.

It’s expected the LIC will bring in $632,409 as part of the overall estimated $7.4 million cost with individual bills ranging from a total of $9,837 to $82,323. Residential rates are $645.52 per meter of frontage with non-residential rates (which would apply to commercial properties) at $1,291.04 per meter of frontage. Finally, government rates will be $1,936.56 per metre of frontage.

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

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