Public mum on Ogilvie Street plans

It was likely one of the shortest city council meetings ever. It took just over two minutes for Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis to open and close the public hearing into the Ogilvie Street reconstruction.

It was likely one of the shortest city council meetings ever.

It took just over two minutes for Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis to open and close the public hearing into the Ogilvie Street reconstruction.

A proposed bylaw, which passed first reading earlier this month, would see the city fix up the downtown street between Fourth Ave. and the clay cliffs, and charge affected property owners a fee to cover part of the cost.

When Curtis asked if anyone wished to speak to the issue on Monday night, his only response was silence.

There was one written submission that Robert Fendrick, director of corporate services director, said was against the proposed bylaw.

The street is in a serious state of disrepair, with numerous potholes and other problems. The work proposed by the city would see the street torn up, the water and sewer mains replaced along with the fire hydrants, and the whole thing repaved. Street lighting would be improved and there would be space for bike lanes and sidewalks. The project is expected to cost about $3.7 million, the city has said.

Ballots were mailed out to residents and property owners on the street. The deadline to submit votes is Nov. 1.

(Jesse Winter)

City mulls changes to festival grants

The city is considering changing the way it hands out money to festivals and cultural events.

“The grant funds have not grown, and the number of event requests have increased in recent years. That caused us to take a look in terms of how these grants are being offered and handled,” Doug Hnatiuk, the city’s events supervisor, told city council on Monday.

The city held a meeting on June 11 to look at options, and administration is now recommending that the city adopt a new funding scheme that identifies “signature events” that could receive more funding.

On Sept. 19, a city review committee met to look at the applications for funding for the 2014 year.

There were eight eligible applicants plus two whose applications were dismissed, Hnatiuk said. If approved, the funds wouldn’t be released until January, after the city’s 2014 budget is finalized.

If approved, the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society looks to be the largest recipient of city money. City administration is recommending that Rendezvous get $15,000 in cash and $30,850 in in-kind contributions. Rendezvous had asked for $30,000 total.

Hnatiuk said the recommendation for Sourdough Rendezvous is significantly higher than the others because this will be the 50th anniversary of the festival.

The Yukon Quest, next highest on the list, would get $4,900 in cash and $11,150 in in-kind support. The Quest had asked for $15,000.

“The in-kind requests have been looked at critically by the affected departments to ensure that they can be accommodated within regular operating hours,” Hnatiuk said.

Council will vote on the recommendations at its next meeting this coming Monday.