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Council Briefs:
City meets with Yellowknives

Terry Kruger
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 04/05) - The city is working with Yellowknives Dene on two new agreements.

One memorandum of understanding (MOU) will outline the services provided by the city to the Yellowknives in Ndilo and Dettah.

"They have never been clearly identified," said Mayor Gord Van Tighem.

He said this process could lead to service agreements between the city and Yellowknives.

Right now, the federal government pays a grant in lieu of taxes to the city.

In exchange, Yellowknife provides recreation services, fire protection and ambulance service to Ndilo and Dettah as well as road clearing and maintenance to Ndilo.

The second MOU would try to clarify land issues.

Van Tighem said the city and Yellowknives are expected to meet again in May, possibly to review draft versions of the agreements.

These would be the second and third MOUs between the city and the First Nation. Two years ago they signed an MOU to spell out a communication protocol.

Tax auction set

A tax auction has been planned for June 1.

A preliminary list shows 27 properties have a combined tax arrears of more than $206,000.

One landowner owes a combined $42,217.97 in back taxes on five separate properties.

Energy committee appointed

Coun. Mark Heyck will chair a Community Energy Planning Committee.

The committee will try to find ways the city can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The committee will include two members of the public, and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, territorial government, NWT Power Corp., a property management company, Northland Utilities, Ecology North and one of the city's school districts.

Skatepark stays put for now

Any hopes the skatepark near Ecole St. Joseph school could be moved soon have been dashed.

The cost of a new skatepark has been pegged at $300,000 and there's no money in the city's budget for the next three years.

But that doesn't mean nothing's happening. An informal working group comprising representatives from the city, police, municipal enforcement, school, Yellowknife Boardsport Association and nearby condominium development will meet monthly.

City administration has also been asked to consider closing the park during school hours and continue to lock the park gates from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Council has also asked for updates on the skatepark situation at the end of July and the end of September.

O'Reilly opposes Niven rezoning

Kevin O'Reilly was the only member of council to oppose third reading of the updated Niven Lake development scheme and the zoning bylaw that allows development of Phase 6 of the Niven Lake residential area. New votes on the development scheme and zoning bylaw were forced when a resident won a court challenge last year.

O'Reilly questioned why council would approve a plan for the development that allows for two convenience stores directly across the street from each other.

Questions on Northlands work

Coun. Kevin O'Reilly peppered administration with questions about handling of the sale of land near Niven Lake to Northland Utilities and work done by the company to expand an electrical sub-station.

Administrator Max Hall promised to report back on several questions, including whether Northland began work before a development permit was issued, whether or not city staff were on hand during the work or have visited the site and if Northland "strayed off the easement and onto public lands."

"I did not like what I saw," said O'Reilly.

"I was very dismayed to walk down a rapidly expanding trail entrance that was at least the size of a bulldozer blade."