Whitehorse Daily Star

Council to vote on whether to proceed with the budget

City staff are recommending council move forward to the final two readings for the proposed 2018 capital budget, the value of which could be up to $20 million.

By Stephanie Waddell on December 7, 2017

City staff are recommending council move forward to the final two readings for the proposed 2018 capital budget, the value of which could be up to $20 million.

A total of $10.8 million is outlined to come from city accounts.

The remaining funds are proposed for projects that would only go ahead if external funding is approved.

The recommendation for the final two readings came forward at Monday’s city council meeting.

Lindsay Schneider, the city’s manager of financial services, presented a report on the public input gathered on the spending plan.

Late last month, longtime local resident Steve Roddick brought forward a number of issues with the budget during a public input session. The city also received an email from a resident.

“An email was received from a citizen concerned with the amount of funds budgeted for the demolition and environmental clean-up of Fire Hall #1 and the Municipal Services Building, quoted as $260,000 total.”

As Schneider explained though, the $260,000 outlined would go to assessments on taking down the buildings.

A further $600,000 is outlined provisionally for 2019 to demolish the fire hall beside city hall.

A total of $2.3 million is suggested as a total to be spent on assessing and demolishing the Municipal Services Building on Fourth Avenue.

Roddick, meanwhile, brought forward concerns over a lack of funding for sustainability projects as well as transit and plans for work in Hillcrest.

As Schneider noted though, restricting of city departments has seen the work of the sustainability department split between two departments: water and waste services, as well as planning services.

“In 2018, there is $185,000 in sustainability projects under water and waste identified for a landfill performance study and the continuation of the Solid Waste Action Plan implementation,” she said.

“There is also $90,000 under planning for neighbourhood collector road master plans and multi-use trail designs.

“There is a further $205,000 in Appendix B projects (those initiatives that would be subject to external funding) that will also proceed in the event that external funding is identified.”

Similarly, there are transit projects planned as well that fall under the list of items subject to external funding.

Among those are transit shelter work and major bus repairs, budgeted at $316,553.

Two new buses, costing $1.1 million, have already been ordered and are scheduled to arrive next year.

Another four buses and one Handy Bus are outlined in the provisional budget over three years.

“The transit master plan is currently underway, and as of this date, the results are not known,” Schneider said.

“We anticipate that there will be submissions in the next budget cycle as a result of the master plan outcome.”

Finally, Schneider responded to Roddick’s concern over the increase to the plans for Hillcrest reconstruction – a project that was defeated during a local improvement charge in 2017.

Schneider explained: “The previous budget for the Hillcrest project, as approved in the 2017 capital budget, was $500,000, and the project is also being (provisionally) proposed for the same amount in 2020.

“Prior to 2017, the project was budgeted at $300,000. This amount was updated for 2017, as the cost estimate hadn’t been updated since 2013.”

With that, Schneider recommended the capital budget be put forward for second and third readings.

Council will vote on that next week.

Comments (2)

Up 1 Down 0

ProScience Greenie on Dec 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Right on OJW. I'll just add that another issue in CoW are those Chamber of Commerce members that are hooked like a crackhead on the corporate welfare gravy train. They're definitely not fiscal conservatives. Kudos to those few businesses that run a good show without the handouts.

Up 1 Down 1

Josey Wales on Dec 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Well since none of it is their cash...the drunken sailors steer to the rocks.
Nary a clue do they have, nary a concern do they have...other than for themselves.
As their incompetence breeds nothing but division, higher taxes, and completely supports elitism.
Since diversity is so important, can we diversify the level of cognitive comprehension in our hall?
Maybe find some folks that are not brain dead PC Crusaders, equity hires or SJW’s?
Ya know...meritocracy.
Sorry for the trigger with such a gawd awful word as meritocracy in this town.

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