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Council news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Aug. 5 Whitehorse city council meeting

Whitehorse council approves more money for its water licence

Whitehorse city council voted Aug. 5 to pull close to $63,000 out of the city’s water and sewer reserve to cover the rising costs of renewing its water licence.

The vote also alters the contract the city has with Hemmera Envirochem Inc. to prepare the city’s application to renew its water licence.

City engineer Taylor Eshpeter brought forward the recommendation at council’s July 29 meeting to change the budget and alter the contract.

“At the onset of this project, the amount of effort required to complete the water licence renewal was estimated with a low level of certainty,” Eshpeter said. “This is because it was not known what conditions or information requests would be required during the lengthy renewal process which requires submissions to Yukon Environmental Socio-economic Assessment Board and the Water Board that both have a large range in potential duration.”

A short-term water licence is in place for 18 months while the city continues the process for the long-term 25-year license. A large part of the work for the long-term application is done; making the remaining costs now more of a certainty.

“Hemmera has estimated that an additional $62,717 is required to complete the project,” Eshpeter said. “Since this requested amount now exceeds the funds remaining in the approved capital budget, a budget and contract amendment is required.”

The company provided city officials with documents showing the remaining work required, confirming that it would be outside the scope of the original contract.

The change increases Hemmera’s contract from $149,315 to $212,032.

More than half a million dollars goes to Castle Rock

Castle Rock Enterprises now has the $660,285 contract to install a new water main along part of Sixth Avenue and Lambert Street after Whitehorse council approved the contract award Aug. 5.

The project will eliminate dead end water mains on the two streets.

“The new main will improve water circulation and water quality, improve fire flow and eliminate the need for bleeding of water to protect the two mains from freezing,” city engineer Taylor Eshpeter stated in a previous report to council.

Castle Rock had the lower of two bids for the work, though the city also has to add an extra $125,000 over what was budgeted for the required geotechnical services, construction inspection, project management, contingency and engineering design.

Along with voting to award the contract, council voted to provide the additional cash through the city’s share of the federal Building Canada Clean Water Waste Water fund.

Council approves contract for road consultant

Tlingit Street and Galena Road are set to get some attention after council voted to award the consulting contract for upgrades to the two Marwell streets.

The $460,045 contract went to Associated Engineering, which had the highest scoring proposal of three submitted.

Project team, past experience, methodology and approach, schedule, adjusted fees and local preference were all considered in the proposal evaluation.

The work is the second phase of the city’s Marwell East Reconstruction project. The first phase saw the rebuilding of Industrial Road from Copper Road to Tungsten Road in 2012.

Under the latest project Galena Road’s water main will replaced, the sanitary main along Tlingit Street from Platinum to Copper Road will be twinned, new services for potential development will be installed and road surfaces will be replaced. It’s expected the work will be done in 2020.

“The first step for this project is to retain consulting services through a Request for Proposals to deliver the preliminary design, stakeholder liaison services, utility coordination, detailed design and tender administration,” Eshpeter said, before noting an additional $230,045 is required to fund the work as the original budget amount was to cover engineering design only. In an effort to improve efficiency and ensure the same consultant sees the project through, the RFP included the services throughout the entire project. Council approved the additional spending.

The additional funds for the work would come from gas tax funding.

Before voting in favour of the contract award and budget change Aug. 5, Coun. Laura Cabott said she’s pleased to see the work in Marwell coming forward.

“Marwell’s an important area,” she said, going on to highlight work with other levels of government on plans for the area, including the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, which has settlement land in the neighbourhood.

Money approved for water sampling

Hemmera Envirochem Inc. was awarded a contract Aug. 9 worth $167,045 for groundwater sampling and analysis at the city’s landfill.

“The previous water monitoring contract expired in March 2019,” Peter O’Blenes, the city’s director of infrastructure and operations, explained in a previous report to council. “The city extended the 2019 program and will now complete a program spanning from September 2019 to December 2022.”

Hemmera had the lowest of six quotes that came in.

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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