Kwanlin Dun pays up

After more than one year and several reminder notices from Whitehorse, the Kwanlin Dun First Nation has paid a past-due bill of $892,000.

After more than one year and several reminder notices from Whitehorse, the Kwanlin Dun First Nation has paid a past-due bill of $892,000.

The First Nation government has owed the city the money since November 2006.

That’s when the city first billed the First Nation for hooking up its waterfront property at First Avenue and Black Street with city services.

The money was collected when Kwanlin Dun and city officials sat down at a meeting earlier this month, said city manager Dennis Shewfelt.

“We received the cheque right around the end of January, February 1st I believe,” said Shewfelt.

“It was a short meeting.

“We received the $892,000.”

There was no discussion on late payments or interest fees and the city does not currently have any plans to pursue such action, he said.

“We have no plans to discuss that at this point.”

In its original invoice, the city noted that a failure to pay could result in compounded interest, which would have totaled approximately $240,000 in the case of Kwanlin Dun.

While he’s no longer pursuing the money, the fact that it was never collected is a little disappointing, said councillor Doug Graham.

“It isn’t a massive concern, but I just like to make sure everyone is treated the same,” he said.

“That includes taxpayers, that includes people who owe us bills, the whole bit.

“I’d like to see that money, but there’s no hope of it happening. I’ve given it up.”

Dismissing the interest on one delinquent bill could set a bad example, said Graham.

“If somebody doesn’t pay their taxes on time are we going to charge them 10 per cent as well?” he asked.

“Are they going to have an argument and say, ‘Well, you didn’t charge Kwanlin Dun.’

“To me, let’s be consistent. That’s one of our problems, we seem to be inconsistent in everything we do.”

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