Whitehorse city hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse city news, briefly

Here’s a rundown of some of the decisions that were made at Whitehorse City Hall this week:

Public hearing for proposed quarry has moved to new date

A public hearing regarding a proposed gravel quarry near the airport has been moved to Tuesday, April 23.

Da Daghay Development Corporation (DDDC), the business arm of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, are asking the city to amend the Official Community Plan (OCP) so the First Nation can develop a gravel quarry on a 12.2-hectare piece of its settlement land that is currently zoned for residential development.

The parcel is surrounded by other undeveloped residential parcels and the neighbourhood of Valleyview. Council would need to change a rule in the OCP which says no quarry developments can operate within 300 metres of a residential parcel to affect only properties which are currently developed, not those which might contain residences in the future.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Monday, April 8.

The meeting was moved because the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council open house pertaining to the matter is to be held April 2, which “doesn’t leave (city) administration enough time to prepare a report for the following council committee meeting” so they could be properly prepared, Myles Dolphin, spokesperson for the city said.

The hearing is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and will take place at 5:30 at city hall, prior the beginning of the regular council meeting.

Cook Street LIC passes first reading

Whitehorse City Council voted to move forward with a $458,000 local improvement charge (LIC) to Cook Street property owners at the regular meeting March 25.

The project extends from Fourth Avenue to the escarpment. That area needs water and sewer mains replaced to be brought up to code and increase efficiencies.

The work will begin as early as spring 2020 and cost $7.4 million. All of that, minus the funds generated by the LIC, will come from the capital budget, city reserves or federal funding.

The proposed LIC cost for residences and not-for-profits is $645.52 per metre of frontage, $1,291.04 per metre for commercial buildings and $1,936.56 per metre of buildings owned by the government.

If approved, individual bills could range $8,000 to nearly $23,000. Owners have the option to amortize these costs over a 15 year period or pay them all up front.

A public hearing regarding the matter is scheduled for April 23.

Unused money from capital expenditures re-budgeted

$34.5 million from 2018 projects re-budgeted for 2019

Council budgeted $34.5 million in unspent funds for capital projects in 2018 for use this year at the March 25 regular council meeting.

Reasons for the money going unspent included delays from late contract awards, goods that had been ordered but not received by Dec. 31, 2018, the availability of staff contractors and consultations and multi-year projects.

That money includes $23.8 million for the new operations building, which is expected to be completed in 2019.

Of $82.5 million allotted for capital projects last year, $38.2 million went unspent, although only the $34.5 million is coming back for re-budgeting, Brittany Dixon, acting financial manager for the city told council at the March 18 standing committees meeting.

Of those funds, $6.1 million is “related to projects that were previously identified as coming from the appropriate city reserves,” she said. The remaining $23.3 million is related to projects funded by outside sources, including government grants and the gas tax.

“Some projects included in the 2018 capital budget were not fully completed… If these projects are to be completed, funds that were to be set aside in 2018 have to be re-budgeted into 2019,” Coun. Samson Hartland said during the meeting.

Council awards contract for network switches

Whitehorse city council granted a $193,000 contract for network switches to Atwell Systems Inc at the March 25 regular council meeting.

The switches are needed in the new operations building and to replace outdated switches throughout the city’s current infrastructure.

The procurement will be funded with $94,800 from the computer infrastructure capital fund and $97,600 from the operations building project fund.

A “internal review committee agreed that (Atwell Systems) is familiar with the scope of work and has the knowledge and experience to complete the work successfully,” Coun. Samson Hartland said.

The company came in the lowest bidder out three businesses.

Administrative “edits” to bylaw approved by council

Council voted in favour of a zoning bylaw enacting what administration referred to as “minor administrative amendments” at the March 25 regular council meeting.

The amendments had to do with a range of subjects, from how new developments should be landscaped, where bins for trash could be kept on corner lots with two public street frontage to the rezoning of a parcel of land in Whistle Bend to potentially accommodate a new school in the area.

Administration referred to these as “minor” changes as to help “clarify interpretation” in it’s report to council. The use of this wording caused some debate among council, rankling Coun. Dan Boyd in particular, who felt the wording downplayed the importance of these “edits” to the bylaw.

“They are significant (changes) to some people,” he said.

“These changes could be significant, some of them are significant.”

Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@yukon-news.com

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