A plan to plant new trees at the Canada Games Centre has been postponed.
On Monday night, Whitehorse City Council unanimously decided not to give Adorna Landscaping a nearly $100,000 contract for the project. The company planned to put soil and plant trees on the slope between the trail between Hamilton Boulevard and the centre. This is the final part of the landscaping plan that was designed when the centre was built, said Douglas Hnatiuk, supervisor of outreach and events for the city.
The estimated cost came in well over the $70,000 set aside for the project. City administration recommended shifting some money budgeted for replacing the hot water boiler at the Takhini Arena and the installation of a dog park on Main Street to make up the shortfall.
But the cost wasn’t councillors’ main concern. It was the environment. The landscaping would include underground irrigation. At Monday’s meeting, Coun. John Streicker asked if council and city management could look at landscaping options that used less water.
Coun. Betty Irwin agreed.
“Particularly, when we are trying to think about sustainability and reducing our water consumption for things like lawns and so forth, I really think we should take another look at this project and see if there are other landscaping options that can be explored,” she told council.
Irwin had expressed concerns about the project when the contract was first discussed on July 2.
“I think we could build an enclosed botanical garden with orchids from Brazil for that price,” she told council at the time. And she was concerned that trees already on the property would be disturbed. Putting in rocks with shrubbery would look just as good and be less expensive, she said at the time.
New options for landscaping are being considered, including reducing the amount of work, said Hnatiuk.