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Whitehorse sets priorities for council term

The City of Whitehorse has released its strategic plan, which spells out some of city council's top priorities during their three-year term.

The City of Whitehorse has released its strategic plan, which spells out some of city council’s top priorities during their three-year term.

Better waste diversion, improved bus service, new municipal buildings and more affordable housing all made the list. The plan, released yesterday, consists of 35 glossy pages of colourful photos, tables, diagrams and descriptions of current programs and projects the city plans to accomplish.

The city aims to reduce solid waste by 50 per cent, said Shannon Clohosey, the city’s sustainability projects manager. To help meet this goal, city officials are proposing more places for dropping off recycling, she said.

Clohosey also noted that residents create only seven per cent of landfill waste. The city is looking at creating new incentives to encourage businesses to divert more waste, she said.

Planning will begin in June to extend evening bus services. The buses will follow the same routes, but hours will be extended, said Dave Muir, who manages city operations. There will also be service added to the new Whistle Bend division once it is built, Muir added.

The creation of two new municipal services buildings will be discussed later this month. City manager Brian Crist said two locations are being looked at: “one on the south part of town off the Robert Service Way, and the other is on the north side of the airport.”

Yukoners can download surveys online or pick them up at the Canada Games Centre or city hall to vote on a location.

Affordable housing is considered a longer-term goal, said Mayor Dan Curtis. The city is collaborating with the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, Yukon Housing Corp and the territorial government to tackle the issue, he said.

“The reality is we don’t have the means or the money to be able to facilitate affordable, obtainable housing at this point,” he said. But housing remains to be a “big time priority” he said.

The mayor commended the strategic plan as a collaboration between the city, the territory, businesses, non-profits and the general public.

The process to put together the plan began in December 2012. Five public sessions were held in January 2013.

Clohosey said that around 100 people attended the sessions.

The strategic plan is a “living document,” said city spokesperson Amos Westropp. “It’ll be revised and updated periodically by the administration.”

Contact Krystle Alarcon at