Whitehorse mayor presents 4-year, $58M capital plan

A loader dumps snow into a truck in Whitehorse last winter. The city's proposed capital plan would see millions spent on new snow removal equipment. (Mike Rudyk/CBC - image credit)
A loader dumps snow into a truck in Whitehorse last winter. The city's proposed capital plan would see millions spent on new snow removal equipment. (Mike Rudyk/CBC - image credit)

The mayor of Whitehorse has announced the city's proposed capital plan, which includes $58 million in spending over the next four years on new snow-removal equipment, transportation improvements and other infrastructure.

Mayor Laura Cabott, speaking at Monday's city council meeting, said the plan is to meet "the demands of a growing community while making sensible and sustainable decisions."

"Over the next four years, the city will focus on maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure and will make substantial improvements to city services," Cabott added.

The plan would see almost $4 million go toward new equipment to support snow-clearing operations. That would include the purchase of two new graders with snow blades on the side to better clear snow on roadways, two dump trucks with underbody plows and two loaders.

The city is also looking at expanding a snow storage facility north of the city, in the Kulan industrial area.

Cabott said the city is also working on the Transportation Master Plan.

"This work includes exploring a second river crossing in the city, and further study of how we can improve traffic flow on Quartz Road and Mountain View Drive for traffic in and out of Porter Creek and Whistle Bend," said Cabott.

Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada
Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada

The proposed capital budget also has money set aside for accessible bus shelters with seating and a new handibus. The city has also allocated $2 million for "active transportation" improvements on Chilkoot Way.

The plan would also see $350,000 set aside to design the busy intersection at Range Road and Two Mile Hill, to make it safer for all modes of transportation.

There is also money set aside for the Canada Games Centre. Later this year, the city will be spending $500,000 for maintenance at the aquatic centre, including repair work to the deck, change rooms and pools.

Infrastructure and maintenance

Cabott also said the city needs to purchase spare parts for water and wastewater infrastructure "to make sure we can keep things running and limit service disruptions."

The city wants to contract maintenance work on its 1,100 fire hydrants, and maintain the city storm collection system.

There is also $22 million to be spent over four years for the Hillcrest Reconstruction Project. Most water, sewer and road infrastructure in the Hillcrest neighbourhood has reached the end of its service life and needs to be upgraded.

The plan would also see money go toward city buildings.

"Much of the city's existing buildings are old and inefficient. They require capital investment for repairs and renovation," said Cabott.

The city has identified more than $6.3 million for expanding its operations building in 2024. The expansion will be used to accommodate new equipment.

The city is also looking at setting aside money to keep the transit buses running. The funds would be used for parts, repairs and new equipment.

There's also a project to rename buildings.

"One project we're all excited about is the incorporation of Southern Tutchone place names into city-owned buildings," said Cabott.

She said the city wants to hear feedback from residents on the proposed capital plan. A public hearing will take place on Nov. 28.

Council will vote on the capital plan next month.