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$26.4 million for capital projects

Nicole Veerman
Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 3, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A new roof for city hall, $2.8 million in paving and road rehabilitation, a $50,000 upgrade to the McMahon Frame Lake Trail and $70,000 in new technology for municipal enforcement vehicles are among the expenditures city council will deliberate on next week when they discuss the 2011 draft budget.

Some proposed capital projects
  • $30,000 for a floor cover for the Fieldhouse
  • $50,000 in upgrades to the McMahon Frame Lake Trail
  • $125,000 for a new generator for the Yellowknife Community Arena
  • $270,000 in repairs to the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool
  • $355,000 for a roof replacement for city hall
  • $455,000 for streetscaping projects
  • $500,000 for the expansion of the landfill
  • $650,000 for the expansion of the fire hall

There are nearly 100 projects totalling $26.4 million outlined in the 2011 draft capital budget. The spending represents a $1.7 million decrease in budgeted capital spending from 2010.

When asked which ones he's most excited for, Mayor Gord Van Tighem said, "They're all so exciting.

"But one of the things that's an ongoing good thing is the upgrading of playground equipment," he said.

In the draft budget there is $90,000 for the replacement of equipment at the Parker Park playground, 90 per cent of which will be offset by a sport and recreation grant.

There is also $36,000 set aside to upgrade Olexin Park Playground on 52 Street.

Van Tighem said the city has worked with the community to decide what parks need upgrades "and there's happier people around because of that."

The budget also proposes major electronic upgrades, including the replacement of the city's radio console system, which allows communication between public safety, public works and community service employees.

The $481,000 upgrade is the third stage of a four-stage process, which started in 2010.

"This is what we really need to have as far as radios for the safety of our emergency personnel," said Van Tighem. "It's good to see that that's finally looking like it'll be a reality."

Also in the draft budget is $70,000 in upgrades to the city's four municipal enforcement vehicles - $35,000 for new laptops and $35,000 for the replacement of four-year-old in-car cameras.

Doug Gillard, manager of municipal enforcement, refused to comment on the proposed spending or what the technology is used for.

"I have no interest in co-operating with you for this story," he said.

Van Tighem said the city tries to replace all electronics after three years, so it is about time for new cameras.

"One of the things you find with digital equipment like that is that after a certain period of time, especially with the hot and cold, hot and cold, hot and cold, they lose their reliability."

In-car cameras are most frequently used by municipal enforcement officers to document traffic violations, he said.

The $35,000 for laptops is for not only the computers, but for software, mounts and installation, said Van Tighem.

According to the draft budget, the computers will allow bylaw officers to do their computer work, such as documenting violations or retrieving information, on the side of the road, ultimately saving them time.

The city's roads are receiving a $2.8 million slice of the pie, with paving and repairs, including sidewalks, curbs and the replacement of underground infrastructure, taking place throughout the city.

That work will cover parts of downtown, Old Airport Road, Old Town and Ndilo.

Van Tighem said there's still a lot of talking to do before the budget is passed, but things are looking better than they did a year ago.

"Some of the costs have been pulled back ... which is a good direction," he said.

The city is accepting input on the 2011 draft budget, which is available on the city's website. A public meeting is being held on Dec. 6 at city hall.

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