Mark Rendell

New Deputy Mayor, Biz Improvement and More: City Briefs, Jan. 20, 2015

Bussey Takes the Deputy Chair, Improving Business and a Vet on the Move

Bussey steps in

Starting next week coun. Linda Bussey will be stepping into the deputy mayor’s chair for the remainder of this council’s term.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for me to learn more about local government,” she told EdgeYK.com, adding that she hopes to use the position to advocate for sustainable development, the housing-first initiative and a Business Improvement District (see below).

In her new role, Bussey will act as mayor when mayor Mark Heyck is “absent or unable to act.” When he’s present, she sits as an ordinary councilor.

She replaces coun. Cory Vanthuyne, who, according to Heyck, “certainly stepped it up a notch in terms of the role of deputy mayor.”

Monday’s Municipal Service Committee meeting also saw a shuffle in committee appointments, to be formalized at next Monday’s council meeting:

    • Audit Committee – Adrian Bell, Rebecca Alty as the alternate.
    • Board of Revision – Niels Konge, Vanthuyne as the alternate
    • Yellowknife Combative Sports Commission – Phil Moon Son
    • Community Advisory Board on Homelessness – Bussey
    • Community Energy Planning Committee – Dan Wong
    • Development Appeal Board – Konge with Vanthuyne as Alternate
    • Heritage Committee –Bell and Moon Son
    • Social Issues Committee – Bell and Bussey
    • NWT Association of Communities – Brooks
    • Grant Review Committee – Alty, Moon Son

Getting Bizzy

This Wednesday, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce will vote on whether to form a new downtown Business Improvement District, or BID.

The BID, run by a board of downtown business owners, would collect fees from its members to run improvement campaigns for the area. Those campaigns could range from street beautification to event marketing to hiring security guards.

The idea of businesses banding together to improve their neighborhoods is one growing in popularity across North America, said coun. Bussey, a supporter of the idea. In Edmonton, for example, there are eight or nine BIDs based in different parts of the city or divided by business sectors, she pointed out. Some promote hotels and tourism, while others host festivals and farmers’ markets to entice shoppers.

If the Chamber votes to proceed, they may be able to partner with the City to access federal and territorial funding for the BID.  Last week, city council approved a funding request to the federal and territorial governments. Some of this money could be used for planning sessions for the BID, said Nalini Naidoo, the City’s director of communications and economic development.

Ultimately the project will depend on the interest of downtown businesses, though the idea is receiving support from several council members other than Bussey.

“The business community is an important part of downtown revitalization and [a BID] will get everybody at the same table,” said Bussey.  “The intent is to bring people back downtown. We need to make downtown a place people want to go.”

Vet vetted

The Yellowknife Veterinary Clinic, run by Dr. Michael Hughes, is getting the green light from city council to move from Kam Lake to a location near St. Joseph School on Woolgar Avenue.

The relocation is expected sometime in April, though the building (former home of  YK Auto Repair and Car Wash) needs significant renovations, so the move date remains tentative.

Because “Animal Services” is a conditionally permitted land use, Hughes had to seek approval from council. They indicated their approval at Monday’s MSC meeting, though they won’t officially vote until next Monday’s council meeting.

As per the Animal Services bylaw amended last week, the clinic will not be able to house animals indoors overnight unless it’s “medically necessary” and it is never allowed to house animals outside. Furthermore, it can’t cremate animals at any time.