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Beautifying wood pellet boilers
Administration recommends regulations that will make boilers more aesthetically pleasing

Nicole Veerman
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, March 17, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A recommendation to regulate wood pellet boilers, including their appearance and where they can be located, was generally supported by the Municipal Services Committee Monday.

NNSL photo/graphic

Yellowknife city councillor Bob Brooks supports the recommendation as long as contractors are consulted. - NNSL file photo

City councillor Bob Brooks said he is in support of the changes, as long as administration consults with contractors.

"From what I can see, it's going to cause additional regulation or additional steps that may or may not adversely affect contractors," he said.

"I'm wondering if administration plans to make a special effort to make sure they contact contractors who deal in this type of service to make sure they're aware, so we can get some direct feedback. Is that envisioned?"

In response to the question, city administrator Bob Long, nodded. That wasn't good enough for Brooks who asked for a "firm yes," which he then got.

The change, if approved by council after three readings and a public hearing, intends to provide regulations that will improve the overall physical appearance of wood pellet boilers in Yellowknife.

In the committee agenda, it says, "wood pellet boiler heating systems as utility structures tend to be less aesthetically pleasing than most buildings. The metal-clad siding provides an industrial feel to residential neighbourhoods that should be improved upon."

One of the recommended bylaw amendments includes adding siding requirements, so the structure looks similar to the surrounding buildings.

Coun. Mark Heyck said he's comfortable with the recommendation moving forward to council, and recognizes the importance of aesthetics, but he doesn't want to see the bylaw change in a way that will create a disincentive for people considering wood pellet boilers.

There are a number of wood pellet boilers already in operation around the city, including one at the Inukshuk Housing complex on Range Lake Road and another at the legislative assembly.

Coun. David Wind pointed out that the city has a wood pellet boiler at the Yellowknife Community Arena that will need to be beautified under the proposed bylaw amendments because the silo is covered by corrugated steel.

"Are there any plans in the city to pretty that up a little bit?" he asked.

Grant White, the city's community services director, said it's been discussed, but there are no concrete plans yet.

Wind responded with a smile, saying if it's expected of residents it is also expected of the city.

"So I guess council can be expecting some beautification initiative to come forward from administration."

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