Council seeks consultant on pay, green lights pipeline funding application

by Avery Zingel - June 26, 2018

City council has directed administration to hire a consultant to give recommendations on adapting councillors’ pay to new CRA taxation rules that remove a one third salary exemption.

The exemption will no longer be in effect as of Jan. 1, 2019.

Councillors Adrian Bell and Julian Morse expressed their preference for a committee decision, if not for time constraints.

There will be time allotted for public input, said senior administrative officer Sheila Bassi-Kellett.

Municipal officers currently receive an allowance equivalent to 50 per cent of their salary.

If the city makes no effective change to its compensation scheme, councillor’s pay will default to 100 per cent taxation, resulting in a pay cut.

Council would likely have four options, three of which involve a net reduction in take home pay, states a memo presented to council last week.

–Avery Zingel

Council green lights application for federal pipeline funding

Yellowknife city council has directed administration to apply for federal funding through Infrastructure Canada to replace its 50-year-old pipeline.

If successful, the $27-million replacement, to be sourced at the YK river, could be funded up to 75 per cent.

The city is looking at options to support a pipeline so that a decision to draw from the Yellowknife River wouldn’t pass costs solely to Yellowknife taxpayers, said senior administrative officer Sheila Bassi-Kellett at a June 11 meeting.

A 2017 report conducted by AECOM Canada Ltd. considers those two source options for replacing the city’s 50-year-old water intake, but the document recommends the $27-million option to source from the river, rather than the $8-to $10-million option to draw water from Yellowknife Bay.

Submissions for the funding are due by July 31. The deadline for submissions comes before city council will formally vote on where it wants to source city water.

If the funding application is successful, it could make the option to draw from the river price competitive with the cheaper, but less favourable option of drawing from the Yellowknife Bay.

–Avery Zingel