City to sign $15.7M loan for Northlands water and sewer

Residents have to decide if they'll approve the MOU to pay up to $358 per month for 25 years to fix infrastructure.

Residents will pay up to $358 per month for 25 years under MOU

Residents have to decide if they'll approve the MOU to pay up to $358 per month for 25 years to fix crumbling infrastructure. (CBC)

Yellowknife City Council has voted to act as a co-signer for a $15.7 million-dollar loan to replace the Northlands Trailer Park’s crumbling sewer and water pipes.

Council passed a memorandum of understanding at a council meeting Monday night after including amendments suggested by the condo corporation.

Under the deal, each home owner in Northlands would be charged up to $358 a month to repay the 25-year loan.

Sixty per cent of homeowners must agree on the deal for it to move forward.

"I always like to think positive and you know, I want this deal done and I would hope that the residents would approve it but there needs to be some good discussion," said Trevor Kasteel, of the condo corporation’s Infrastructure Committee.

The condo corporation has up to 60 days to get a petition signed before moving forward on the agreement.

"Once we get the majority approving, the local improvement initiative money can be found, work can go forward," said Mayor Gordon Van Tighem.

Northlands residents have been lobbying for the city’s help dealing with their infrastructure deficit for years. The pipes under the trailer park are more than 40 years old and earlier this year, the territorial government denied the city’s request for an interest-free loan.

In April 2010, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced it would no longer insure mortgages on homes in the trailer park until there was a plan to fix the aging infrastructure.

The CMHC estimated it will cost between $12 million and $18 million to replace Northlands’ aging sewer, water and road infrastructure.

About 1,100 people live in the park’s 258 trailers.