Betty Irwin was the sole Whitehorse city councillor to vote against giving the Great Northern Ski Society $1.3 million. (CBC)

The City of Whitehorse is giving the Great Northern Ski Society $1.3 million to help cover its deficit in operating the Mt. Sima ski hill.

It's municipal money that would have otherwise gone to infrastructure, but the city has received money from Ottawa to help with asphalt projects and is re-directing the money it would have used for that to the ski hill.

Since the city is heavily invested in the hill, Councillor Dave Austin said he supports the move.

"I guess the real truth for me is if we don't support Mount Sima, we're going to own it, and we're going to have to either operate it or bury it," he said. "And to me, it's a great asset to the community."

Councillor Betty Irwin was skeptical the money would make a difference.

"My biggest concern is that this isn't the last of the society's financial troubles and that the city will be entertaining more requests for bailouts in the future," she said.

The money will be used to cover the Great Northern Ski Society's deficit and to help with operating costs for both the ski hill and new summer facilities. The society says after three seasons of the new zip line and obstacle course, Mt. Sima will turn a profit.

The money is just part of the answer, according to Councillor Ranj Pillai, and he said the city is working to find a viable solution, not a Band-Aid, for the hill.  

"That solution was to go to the Yukon Government and request that the Yukon Government provide us with an option to transfer land to the City of Whitehorse that could be put into place and could be accessed by the non-profit to develop that land," he said.

The Yukon government has confirmed it's open to the idea of transferring land, but when or if the ski society will become a land developer is still unclear.