Businesses along Cook Street may end up paying thousands more than originally expected for infrastructure upgrades after an error in calculations was discovered by city staff prepping local improvement charge documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Improvement charge could be higher than expected for businesses, government

An error has been discovered in the city’s calculations

Businesses along Cook Street between Fourth Avenue and the escarpment could end up paying thousands of dollars more than originally expected if a local improvement charge (LIC) is eventually approved by the City of Whitehorse.

An error in the original calculations was discovered when city staff was prepping documents about the LIC to be sent to property owners, city engineer Taylor Eshpeter told council at its meeting April 1.

He acknowledged it as a “human error” during a brief interview the next day.

Residential rates were mistakenly entered for non-residential properties that pay a higher rate.

LICs are charges to benefitting property owners when work is done to a street. In this case the city is proposing to rebuild Cook Street, including underground utilities, from Fourth Avenue to the clay cliffs.

A total of six properties would be impacted by the mistake including four commercial properties.

In all but one case for the four business properties the charge increased from $9,837 to $19,675 each. Amortized over 15 years, that would put the annual payments at $2,059.

For one property owner though the increase is significantly more substantial. The frontage of 407 Cook Street (Qwanlin Cinema) had originally been entered with the same frontage as the other commercial properties at 15.24 metres with a total charge of $9,837.

With the correction now in place, the assessed frontage is 60.96 m, bringing the potential total LIC charge up to $78,701 in total or $8,236 annually for 15 years.

The two other properties impacted are owned by Yukon government and would see the corrected amounts changed from $37,441 to $82,323 for Birch Lodge at 6189 Sixth Avenue at Cook Street and from $11,806 to $35,419 at 702 Cook Street, which has a duplex on it.

Given the mistake, council is being asked to approve sending out a notification package that would provide the corrected amounts.

An explanation detailing the error and the corrected amounts for non-residential property owners would be included with the notice, Eshpeter said.

It is now expected that the LIC would bring in $632,409 for the work with the increase to the non-residential rates.

If that’s approved next week, the notices would be sent out April 11 with a deadline of May 21 for any objections to be submitted.

Property owners will get a chance to vote on the LIC after the correction is approved.

A public hearing on the proposed LIC would be scheduled for May 6 with a report coming forward May 27 after the submission deadline. Second and third reading would follow on June 10.

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

Just Posted

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 14

Frostbitten big toe finds new home in Dawson City’s infamous cocktail

Nick Griffiths, who ran the Yukon Arctic Ultra in 2018, donated two toes to the Downtown Hotel.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation suspends deputy chief after impaired driving charges

Deputy Chief Cheryl Charlie was charged June 6. Councillor Darius Elias has also been suspended.

Firefighters called to Whitehorse Elementary School over code violations

Door that occasionally wouldn’t open from inside among many issues that need attention, parent says

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Driving with Jens: Keeping pets safe in your vehicle

In my last column I discussed ways to avoid the tragedy which… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Whitehorse Troughbillies

Yukon could take its hot rocks to the bank

ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge spurs mountain bike races in Whitehorse

“I have to remind myself to do that sometimes – just slow down and look around.”

Whitehorse FC Premier U15 boys finish fourth despite injuries and short bench at Slurpee Cup

“They worked super hard and were more hungry for the win than the other team”

2019 Yukon Gymnastics Championships showcase Whitehorse talent

“It was a nice way to end off our season”

U Kon Echelon holds multi-stage Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships

The 2019 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships were held in and around… Continue reading

Cyclists race in the rain at Southern Lakes Yukon GranFondo

‘It was a good number for the conditions’

Most Read