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Council Briefs
City wants say on Ingraham Trail

Adam Johnson
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 24, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - A GNWT presentation on re-routing Hwy 3 to the Ingraham Trail had councillors wondering where the city fits in the picture.

"Is there a way the city could be involved?" asked Mayor Gord Van Tighem, following a presentation on three options by Kevin McLeod, director of highways and marine services for the GNWT.

Van Tighem said each of the corridor options - which bypass the s-curves around Giant Mine - will affect the city's development options. All three options are on city land.

McLeod said a year-long consultation process would ensure everyone's opinion was considered.

"Eighty years down the road we want to make sure we made the right decision," McLeod said.

Coun. Shelagh Montgomery took issue with an option that grazes the Mining Heritage Centre and the Giant Mine boat launch.

McLeod said it is the shortest option and "might be the simplest one," since there is already a small road and gravel in place.

Previously, administration indicated it favoured a route which could extend Old Airport Road through Fred Henne Park, as it provides the most future development options. The second route could affect leased land and the solid waste facility. Construction could begin as early as fall of 2008.

Is there a bus carrier in the house?

Council will ink a new contract with Cardinal Coach Lines to run Yellowknife Transit, though councillors worried there was little choice in the matter.

Cardinal was the only company that bid to run Yellowknife's six-bus transit system.

The new contract will see the annual cost of transit rise to $948,794 in 2008 from $793,895 in 2007.

Revenue is expected to rise to $305,000 from $284,000.

"The price of business has gone up, and that's where we're at," said Greg Kehoe, director of public works.

Coun. David Wind was "dismayed" with the number of bids, and concerned that the city wasn't doing enough to attract more.

Kehoe said that things could get worse before they got better.

"I don't think it would be inconceivable to have tenders with no bidders."

The city signed its first contract with Cardinal in 1999. At that time, there were two bidders for the contract.

Core funding gets a facelift

Requirements to receive core funding and special funding from the city will change if proposed legislation goes through.

To start, groups in the city will have to receive special grant funding for three consecutive years to qualify for core funding.

The date for application for core funding has been changed to Aug. 15 from Sept. 30; groups and organizations have to submit a three-year plan and three-year budget plan; and groups must have insurance to qualify for special funding.

According to city documents, special funding had not increased from $100,000 a year since 2000, though the number of groups digging into the money has increased to 25 from 17.

The pool for core funding is $300,000, compared to $182,000 in 2000.

There are 17 groups that qualify for core funding in Yellowknife, including the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, SnowKing Winter Carnival and Folk on the Rocks. In 2000, that number was 10.