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Iqaluit city council briefs

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Nov 22/04) - Iqaluit City Council may not contribute heavy equipment and emergency services to this year's Nunavut Snow Challenge because of concerns about insurance coverage on Frobisher Bay sea ice.

"For us to be sitting on the ice as part of the event, we do not have coverage," said fire Chief Cory Chegwyn.

Council is considering limiting in-kind contributions such as emergency personnel and heavy equipment while still contributing financially.

The snowmobile race from Iqaluit to Kimmirut and back usually happens in March.

Half now, half later

Property owners can expect to get a property tax bill in the mail a few months earlier this year after City Hall passed a bylaw which splits tax payments into two installments.

By having the payments come in twice a year, the bylaw should help the city manage its cash flow, said director of finance John Hussey.

Interest will still begin to accumulate once a bill is past due.

Mongolian throatsingers

Council received a letter asking for partners in starting a throatsinging festival starting in 2005.

The first festival would be held in Mongolia and Canada would host the event in 2006.

Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik recommended sending off a letter showing support for the idea and asking for more details.

Stop signs coming down

As of Nov. 29, the stop signs on Queen Elizabeth Lane in front of Baffin Regional Hospital will be removed for a three-month trial period. The move comes in response to complaints about wait times for residents going up the hill coming home for lunch and after work.

Bylaw officer Robert Kavannaugh said he has counted 300 vehicles within 15 minutes during peak lunchtime traffic.

"I think on the way down (the hill) it's going to open everything up," Kavannaugh said.

Fox traps a concern

An Apex resident wrote to council to express her concern after finding fox traps in a park.

She set them off, only to come back to find them reset.

Coun. Glenn Williams said white fox traps are not dangerous to humans and that people need to respect the right to trap.

"For someone to come in and be totally appalled ... that's just ignorance," Williams said.

The foxes can often become rabid and harvesting them is a help, Williams said.