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Public pitches on budget

A number of user groups lobbied City Council Monday evening to persuade them that they deserved funding in the 2019 budget.

A total of four groups spent close to two hours asking for a number of initiatives running from climbing wall staff to trail extensions to a new Folk on the Rocks stage to be priced out and included in the 2019 budget.

Climbing club asks for additional staff

The Yellowknife Climbing Club made their case for City Council to approve two additional city staff at the climbing wall inside the Yellowknife Fieldhouse, positions that were previously proposed by city administration in the draft budget.

The club told council adding a climbing wall coordinator and climbing wall assistant to city staff would allow for safer supervision during peak times at the wall and would allow for the expansion of climbing lessons and other formal programs to be implemented.

“There's not enough staff to run private events during week days which I know there's a demand for and more staff during the day and evening are needed especially during high volume times for users which would further decrease the risk of injury,” said Sarah Wong, a member of the Yellowknife Climbing Club.

Wong said that current staff have had a number of parents ask if there will be more camps coming at the climbing wall.

There is a 111,000 wage increase at the fieldhouse in the 2019 draft budget. That increase in partially accredited to the addition of the two new positions.

Ecology North lobbies for more consultation on trail connectivity

Ecology North is asking for the city to hold off on a $450,000 project that would expand the McMahon Frame Lake Trail.

The association is asking for the city to instead fund a $25-50,000 consultation to explore additional options to expand the trail without needing to conduct blasting, making the eventual construction project cheaper.

“We don't think it should cost $450,000 and we're concerned that the submission includes some blasting, we're not in favour of blasting and we don't think its necessary,” said Craig Scott, Executive Director of Ecology North. “I might suggest that instead of the 450,000 dollar budget item asked this year, to get it changed to a 25 to 50,000 dollar budget item and that would be put towards consultations.”

The expansion would see the trail's entrance between McDonald's and the hospital connect to the portion of the trail that runs near Staples.

FOTR needs new main stage

Dylan Short/NNSL photo Carly Bradley, Folk on the Rocks executive producer, presents to council asking for renovations to the festival’s main stage to be funded in this year’s budget.
Carly Bradley, Folk on the Rocks executive producer, presents to council asking for renovations to the festival’s main stage to be funded in this year’s budget. Dylan Short/NNSL photo

 The Folk on the Rocks' (FOTR) organizing committee asked the City to fund a new main stage on the festival's grounds to the tune of $200,000.

Stantec engineering firm conducted a study on the current main stage and found major structural damage and advised that if renovations are not conducted  the stage should not be used for future festivals.

Carly Bradley, the festival's executive producer, stated that if the $200,000 is not approved in this year's budget the stage will not be ready in time for the 2019 festival.

The main stage is the heart of the festival,” said Bradley. “Stantec basically said that we shouldn't be using it last year, but this was done in May so it was a bit late. but yeah we shouldn't be having anyone on there until this is fixed.”

The $200,000 would account for both construction costs and consultations with a structural engineer along the way.

The FOTR ground is currently owned by the City of Yellowknife but is leased to the festival. Bradley said that normally the folk team pays to maintain stages but that these renovations are beyond the FOTR's capacity.

Operation bike park asks for funding, re-zoning

The final proposal came from the Yellowknife Bike club asking for the city to reinstate previous budget items that would see Operation Bike Park receive $25,000.

The Yellowknife Bike Club is hoping to begin work on a bike park that would be located next to Bristol Pit. Before that work can begin the club needs to enter into a lease agreement with the city, which would require a number of zoning bylaws.