This week at Whitehorse City Hall

Some of the key moves made at the July 15 council meeting

Water main work gets pricy

A change in plans for a Porter Creek water main project could cost the City of Whitehorse an extra $200,000 over the $950,000 it originally planned to spend.

The additional funds would come from the city’s gas tax funding to cover the contingency needed for the project.

At council’s July 15 meeting, city engineer Taylor Eshpeter brought forward the proposed budget change and new plans along with the recommendation the work be awarded to Norcope Enterprises, which had the lowest of three bids on the project.

As Eshpeter explained, the original plan was to put in a new water main connection north along Birch Street that would connect with the supply line into Crestview and the Brookside development just off the Alaska Highway before Crestview.

“During detailed design it was determined that a different design would serve better,” Eshpeter said.

The updated plan would see the new main installed at Kulan Industrial Park onto Bennett Road then Laberge Road, connecting with Crestview and Brookside.

“This revised water supply alignment not only meets the fire supply demands required for the Brookside development, but also improves the fire supply demands for portion of the Kulan subdivision along Bennett Road, then Laberge Road East.

“The new main would provide an additional water supply connection to the rest of Porter Creek, and an opportunity for the installation of water services to existing Kulan properties if the property owners wish to pursue that option.”

The plans have gone through the Yukon Environmental Socio-economic Assessment Board process and been approved by the Yukon government.

Council will vote July 22 on the contract award and budget change.

Questions continue on rail track conditions

Trolley track conditions downtown are continuing to raise concerns for Coun. Laura Cabott, who questioned city staff on what is planned in areas where there are safety concerns due to the deteriorating track condition.

Cabott has brought up the issue previously, noting the Yukon government is responsible for the tracks, but given the location in downtown Whitehorse it is a concern for the city.

The Waterfront Trolley, which had run on the tracks in past years, is no longer operating.

Cabott said though the territory has had an assessment done of the situation, it doesn’t appear there’s been work to address the issues.

“I guess I’m trying to find a practical solution,” she said, highlighting the importance of both safety and the potential for legal liability.

City manager Linda Rapp said the city has been informed by Yukon government officials an assessment is complete and repair work is expected to happen within the week. The possibility of paving over some sections is also being explored, in which case it may take a few extra days to get underway.

New areas of the landfill could be opened to help separate waste.

It’s proposed that Cobalt Construction be awarded the $355,562 contract to ready new areas in the southern part of the landfill for waste. Cobalt submitted the only compliant bid on the work.

As Geoff Quinsey, the city’s manager of water and waste services, explained to council July 15: “As the south end (of the landfill) has not been developed, divertible and separated materials such as scrap metal are being stored immediately south of the current land filling area.

“There are now conflicting piles of materials including scrap metals, concrete, old tires, stored telephone poles, grubbing, and partially-buried piles of waste from the original development of the (landfill).”

To optimize operations, new deposit areas would be created with the work to include realignment of the access road to the south end, upgrades to the special waste area; clearing; and creating stockpile areas for concrete, metals, grubbing and diverted materials.

“New stockpile areas are most critical in preparing to operate efficiently as a hub in the territory’s proposed regionalized Solid Waste Management System,” Quinsy said.

Coming in over the initial $300,000 that had been set aside in gas tax funding for the work, Quinsey said initial estimates were based on previous work done in past years at the landfill.

The additional funds for the work would come from the capital reserve, which would be reimbursed if the Yukon government approves the city’s application for a fund increase through gas tax for the work.

Council will vote on the contract July 22.

(Stephanie Waddell)

New dasher boards could be coming to Takhini Arena

Hockey and figure skaters in the city may notice a big change at Takhini Arena this fall if council approves awarding a $123,000 contract to Global Sport Resources Ltd.

The company had the only compliant bid on the work to replace the dasher board system at the arena.

As Jeff O’Farrell, the city’s director of community and recreation services, said: “The new dasher board system will raise the height of the tempered glass on the sides from three feet to six feet for increased employee, player and spectator safety.

“The upgrade also includes a complete replacement of kick and puck boards, which are gouged and cracked in various areas.”

Though there have been some minor adjustments to the dasher boards over the years, this marks the first time for full replacement since the arena’s opening in 1984.

“This will represent a significant modernization,” O’Farrell said.

Council will vote on the contract July 22.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Water monitoring contract proposed

Golder Associates could be awarded the $135,823 contract to collect samples and monitor the city’s water supply until the end of 2020.

Geoff Quinsey, the city’s manager of water and waste services, told council the city is in the process of getting a new water license and a short-term 18-month contract is required for the collection and monitoring until a long-term water license is in place.

Golder had the lowest of three bids at $48,414 for the remainder of 2019 and $87,409 for all of 2020.

Council will vote on the contract July 22.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Whitehorse city council