Council approves $6.7M loan

Whitehorse city council will borrow $6.7 million to help finance its new public safety building. Council approved the bank loan, which it will have 20 years to repay, on Monday.

Whitehorse city council will borrow $6.7 million to help finance its new public safety building.

Council approved the bank loan, which it will have 20 years to repay, on Monday. The loan trebles the city’s total debt to $9.9 million.

The new building will house the fire department, bylaw and emergency services. It’s to cost $10.6 million and be located on top of Two Mile Hill. It’s to be complete by May of 2010.

Three million of the building’s cost is to be paid with federal gas tax money. Four million is to be paid with city funds. And the remainder will be covered by the loan.

AWG 2012 bid

gets green light

Whitehorse is moving ahead with plans to woo the 2012 Arctic Winter Games.

Tuesday, council approved a $6.1-million bid to host the Games.

The proposal is expected to cost the city $200,000 in cash and an equal amount of in-kind services.

The remaining cost of hosting the Games is to be paid by the federal and territorial governments, and with donations and merchandising.

The Games bring together youth from the circumpolar nations. Grande Prairie, Alberta, is hosting the next Games in March of 2010.

Raven Recycling

limps along

Raven Recycling will receive more money, more frequently, thanks to several changes made to Whitehorse’s waste diversion program on Tuesday.

Council boosted the program’s budget to $100,000 from $30,000, and increased the value of credits to $50 per tonne from $30 per tonne.

This money will be paid out twice a year, rather than once.

“It’s a good step towards helping us provide recycling services to Whitehorse residents,” said executive director Joy Snyder.

But the improved credits will only staunch the bleeding of the beleaguered recycling depot. One troubling fact remains: it simply isn’t profitable to send recyclables out of the territory.

Since the commodities market collapsed in October, the price obtained by Raven for recyclables has been cut by half, said Snyder.

As a short-term fix, the depot is being propped up by a $22,000 per month operating grant being provided by the territory from January until March.

In the meantime, the territory and city council are working with the depot to come up with a long-term plan.

Stockdale apologizes

to city planners

Monday, councillor Dave Stockdale apologized for slagging the city’s planning staff.

The outburst happened a week ago, during a discussion about a proposed gravel quarry on the Old Livingstone Trail.

The gravel is needed to expanded the city’s sewage lagoon.

Planning staff expanded the original project to use gravel for other purposes, said Stockdale.

But he was wrong.

“I read all that information in detail … some of the things I suggested last week were incorrect,” said Stockdale.

“I apologize for wasting council’s time and upsetting members of the planning department.”

But Stockdale continued to vote against the proposal.

The plan involves the city acquiring 92.7 hectares of Commissioner’s Land. Of this, only a small portion would actually be used to re-develop an abandoned quarry.

But there’s no guarantee the city won’t open up the surrounding area to development in the future, said Stockdale.

This worries the few residents who live near the area, he said.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.