Whitehorse council OKs design contract for new operations complex
Two councillors opposed, say city's finances need to be put in order first
Whitehorse city council has voted to get the ball rolling on a new $56 million building consolidation project, despite some councillors' concerns about how they'll pay for it.
A majority of councillors voted Tuesday to take the initial step of hiring Toronto firm Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley Architects to design a new municipal services complex, at a cost of $2.1 million.
But, the decision came only after an hour of debate. Councillors Dan Boyd and Samson Hartland were opposed, arguing that it's still not clear where all the money will come from.
"Right from the get-go — before we went out for proposal calls — I said I would like to see our financial affairs in order," Boyd said.
"I would like to see our reserves re-set so that they reflect what we'll be taking from reserves and investing in this building."
The new operations complex would house the city's vehicle maintenance bay and transit buses.
Deputy mayor Rob Fendrick admitted that, "we don't have all the finance numbers," but said the project has to start.
"I'm an accountant, for God sakes. I mean, I'd love to have all the numbers, but we don't have them. We're not going to get them until we get a final design," Fendrick said.
"I don't mind deferring for due process, but I've seen a lot of due process on this project."
In the end, councillors voted in favour — five votes to two — to start the design work.
With files from Mike Rudyk