Whitehorse prepares bare bones capital budget

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis tabled his government's proposed capital spending plans for the next four years at Monday evening's council meeting.

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis tabled his government’s proposed capital spending plans for the next four years at Monday evening’s council meeting.

The $16-million budget for 2016 is roughly half the size of this year’s $30-million budget.

The proposed plan allocates $5 million – $1.6 million from the federal gas tax, and $3.4 million from city reserves – towards the City’s building consolidation project.

The City plans on spending $56 million over the next three years to build itself two new headquarters for city staff.

Curtis called the budget “environmentally sustainable and financially responsible” during his speech on Monday.

The rest of the budget is mostly made up of smaller infrastructure investments, such as $1.3 million towards odour mitigation at the Livingstone Trail Lagoon and $400,000 for rural roads surfacing.

Earlier this year the City awarded a contract to remove built-up sludge from the lagoon, which is near the Whistle Bend subdivision. The contract entails using pumps to remove solids built up at the bottom of primary treatment cells. The build-up has created a stink during the spring and fall.

The city will also spend $100,000 to replace an aging pumper/tanker and over $50,000 on new equipment for the fire department.

Over $1 million has been set aside to improve Whitehorse’s parks and trails.

That includes almost $700,000 towards irrigation and playgrounds in Whistle Bend, and $55,000 for playground equipment replacement around the city.

The City has also been testing paint options to find the most durable and environmentally sensitive option for crosswalks throughout Whitehorse.

Just over $100,000 has been earmarked next year for new crosswalk markings that are etched in and painted with more permanent paint.

Included in the 2016 capital budget was a wish list of projects the City would like to undertake if it manages to secure funding through the federal gas tax and other external funding sources.

It includes the reconstruction of Range Road North for $3.6 million, revisions to the Pioneer Cemetery for $700,000 and expansion of the Grey Mountain Cemetery for $30,000.

A public input session is scheduled for Dec. 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. at city hall as part of the regular council meeting.

The public input report will be presented to city council on Jan. 4.

Second and third reading of the capital budget bylaw is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Written comments may be submitted to budgetinput@whitehorse.ca.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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