Riverfront construction underway

Whitehorse is proceeding with Riverfront infrastructure work down First Avenue between Strickland and Ogilvie streets.

Whitehorse is proceeding with Riverfront infrastructure work down First Avenue between Strickland and Ogilvie streets.

After delays caused by a late thawing of the ground and contracting setbacks, workers from Norcope Enterprises are getting their hands dirty deep beneath the area designated for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Canada Winter Games in February.

Water, sewer and electrical work is expected to be complete by August, according to the city engineering services manager Wayne Tuck.

A bid for the above-ground work, including street paving, sidewalks, lights, parking, and landscaping will be awarded by council in a couple of weeks.

After the Canada Games, the area will be developed as mixed residential-commercial.

“This will be the last main area of new land being developed downtown,” said the  administrative services director Robert Fendrick.

The addition of residential housing is key, he said.

“We’re trying to avoid the area turning into a ghost town after five o’clock in the evening.”

The First Avenue development, to be completed in the fall, is part of $19-million worth of Riverfront infrastructure improvements by the city.

The costs are being shared by the federal and Yukon governments.

n LEGAL FIGHT

Subdivision dispute resolved

A dispute between Crestview resident Brian Cox and the city over who should pay for a new sanitary sewer system has been resolved.

Cox submitted an application last year to subdivide his lot at 101 Rainbow Road, but the city refused to approve it until he agreed to replace a communal lift station — used to bring residential sewage up to the main sewage line — with two new septic grinder pumps for each new subdivision.

A dispute ensued over whether the grinder pumps were necessary and who would be responsible for the bill.

The situation was resolved when a property owner from across the street, using the same lift station as Cox, also applied for a subdivision.

The city decided it was cheaper to make upgrades to the lift station than build four new grinder pumps, and agreed to cover the costs for this procedure.

“Basically the city took a second look at it and reversed their position,” said city manager Dennis Shewfelt.

n WATER

Digging into reserves for wells

The Yukon government wants the city to stop using the Yukon River to top up water supplies, acting director of operations Brian Crist said this week.

Strict new guidelines for drinking water quality laid out by Ottawa reveal that turbidity levels of surface water make it unsafe to drink.

“The turbidity is no worse than it was five or 10 years ago, but the tolerance for turbidity within the guidelines has changed,” said Shewfelt. “The measuring standards have become more stringent.”

Currently, water provided to Whitehorse residents from underground wells does not meet daily demands and, therefore, surface water from the river is mixed in to cover the shortfall.

A new well built near Selkirk Elementary School would cover the deficit, but more money is needed for a pumphouse and pipeline to connect the well to the system.

The city is expecting to receive $1.45 million from Ottawa to cover the cost of the Selkirk well as well as the development of more wells in Riverdale to meet increased future water demands.

However a sustainability study is required before the funds can be transferred.

The study, which involves a series of public consultations, is expected to take at least a year and a half to complete.

Money will be skimmed from the city’s water and sewer reserve to finance well work until the study is complete and the federal funds become available.

The Selkirk well is set for completion this summer.

Just Posted

Musician aims to help others with release of Yukon Lullaby for Mental Health

Community rallies to release Nicole Edwards’ latest work

Twenty-two people vie to buy two Arkell properties

The lucky winners two now have until May 5 to purchase lots

Conservative Northern Affairs shadow minister visits Whitehorse

Bob Zimmer was in the Yukon to speak to local business groups about the economy and challenges

YESAB extends public comment period for Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The extension pushes the public comment period far beyond the 60 days provided in YESAB’s own rules

Police shouldn’t use ‘excessive force,’ Bagnell says regarding national resistance to B.C. pipeline

Yukoners have been pressing Bagnell to clarify his position on RCMP action in Wet’suwet’en territory

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Mailbox: Rendezvous and protests

Letters to the editor from Feb. 14

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

More Yukon Quest mushers reach finish in Whitehorse

Swedish musher Nora Sjalin is this year’s Rookie of the Year Award winner

History Hunter: Will Rogers and Wiley Post: Their historic visit to the Yukon

The story of the American pilot and the film star has a Yukon connection

Most Read