Whitehorse city news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the June 24 council meeting

Whitehorse council extends landfill contract

Castle Rock Enterprises will continue to operate the city’s landfill until Nov. 30 after council approved a five-month extension to its current contract on June 24.

The extension is needed as the city has yet to put out a tender for a new five-year contract.

Geoff Quinsey, the city’s manager of water and waste services, told council at its June 10 meeting the tender hadn’t move forward due to staffing issues.

The contract extension for Castle Rock will allow time for the tender to be released and a new landfill operations contract awarded.

The cost of extending the contract – $145,976 – is already covered in the city’s landfill operations budget for 2019.

Budget change approved for pump purchase

Council voted June 24 in favour of a budget change to account for the $100,000 purchase of an already-purchased new pump for the Marwell lift station.

Geoff Quinsey, the city’s manager of water and waste services, told council at an earlier meeting that city manager Linda Rapp authorized the spending under a clause in the city’s purchasing policy. It allows the city manager to approve up to $100,000 in capital spending and sole source a contract where there is a “bone fide emergency which includes situations that pose a danger to public health.”

In this case two pumps at the lift station required emergency maintenance due to sand and grit getting into equipment and the two backup pumps are prone to overheating.

While the spending had already been approved, council was required to formalize the budget change. The expense will come out of gas tax funding.

Council was unanimous in approving the budget change, but both councillors Dan Boyd and Samson Hartland said they disagree that the situation constituted an emergency.

Council awards software contract

Viva Automation of Vancouver will provide the city with updated software for its SCADA system.

Council voted June 24 to award the $170,000 deal to the firm for the supervisory control and data acquisition system, which allows the automatic controls to function at city pump houses, lift stations and reservoirs.

The current software was developed in the 1990s and began being used in the early 2000s.

“As with other computer systems, running out-of-date software results in unexpected failures, incompatibility with new software and hardware, and lack of technical support,” Geoff Quinsey, the city’s manager of water and waste services, told council at an earlier meeting.

Whitehorse council hands out community service grants

A total of 18 organizations will get some help on their property tax bill after city council approved the final reading of the bylaw for the 2019 municipal charges and community service grants on June 24.

The grants for 2019 total $105,908.

As Lindsay Schneider, the city’s manager of financial services explained in a previous report to council, the grants are provided “to assist organizations in the payment of municipal property taxes and other specific municipal charges.”

Under the program, community organizations can receive anywhere between 50 and 100 per cent of property taxes owed up to the $50,000 cap the city has put in place that any one organization can receive from the city in a single year.

Property taxes are due July 2.

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