Heather Kennedy was one of two delegates to address Whitehorse city council on May 6 regarding the plans for Cook Street upgrades. Kennedy said that she, along with other residents she spoke with, need more time to contemplate the proposed charges. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Residents need more time to consider local improvement charge, council is told

Some residents spoke out during a public hearing

Property owners on Cook Street need more time to contemplate a proposed local improvement charge (LIC) and what that will mean for them in the coming years, council was told at a May 6 public hearing on the proposed charge.

Heather Kennedy was one of two delegates to address council on the plans for Cook Street and the potential LIC.

LICs are charges to benefitting property owners when surface 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.

It’s expected that the LIC would bring in $632,409 as part of the overall total of $7.4 million.

Right now property owners have until May 21 to submit ballots stating if they are opposed to the LIC. If 50 per cent plus one or more vote against it, the LIC does not go ahead.

“Myself and some neighbours need more time,” Kennedy said.

She argued not everyone on Cook Street can afford the charge of $645.52 per meter of frontage for residential property owners. For many that’s close to $10,000 that would be paid over the 15-year amortization period, costing residential owners more than $1,000 per year.

Along with the cost are concerns over how construction could impact ground water issues in the area, Kennedy said, highlighting problems she’s already had over the years when construction work has been done nearby.

With no design in place yet, it’s difficult to provide support for the project, she said.

While she also expressed concerns around the price changing, director of development services Mike Gau assured her that should the LIC bylaw be passed it would not increase as the bylaw would prevent that.

“The numbers you have been given are solid,” he said.

If anything, the only change property owners would see is a decrease in the bill if the city is able to get a lower interest rate than what has been estimated now at more than six per cent.

Gau also confirmed there is not any sort of detailed design — which would only be done if the project is confirmed to go ahead — but redesign work has been done and the city is confident in the estimates based on the redesign.

Elizabeth Ryan, another resident who would be impacted, expressed concerns as well over the additional costs that would come with the improvements, as residents would also be required to install recirculation pumps into their homes.

Looking into those costs, she said she’s learned the initial price of the pump is $500 with installation being anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500.

She wondered, “If anybody can explain to me why it costs so much.”

A staff report on the public hearing will come forward May 27. Council is expected to vote on the second and third reading of the LIC June 10.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Reita, Dudley and Rodney Morgan at their Whitehorse home in 2002. (P. Gowdie/Courtesy Yukon Hidden Histories Society)
Recognizing Black history in the Yukon

Yukon’s Hidden Histories Society is entering its twentieth year of researching Black… Continue reading

Dahria Beatty and her Canadian teammates are set to begin the FIS World Nordic Ski Championships this week. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Beatty, Team Canada set for FIS World Nordic Ski Championships

Yukon’s Dahria Beatty was one of 10 skiers named by Nordiq Canada… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

(Submitted)
History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

A Faro volunteer fire department truck in 2008. In a virtual press conference on Feb. 15, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, territorial Community Services Minister John Streicker and Faro Mayor Leonard Fabor announced the Town of Faro will have a new public works and fire hall building in 2022. (Genesee Keevil/Yukon News file)
Fire hall, public works building will be built in Faro

Wildstone Construction Ltd. awarded contract

Most Read