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Majority of “gas tax” fund in small communities is spent on water and waste management

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According to the Yukon government, Yukon’s allocation of federal “gas tax” funding has increased to $18 million this year, of which almost $1 million has already been allocated to projects.

Unincorporated communities will receive approximately $1 million from the fund.

“These funds are allocated to projects based on need,” Community Services spokeswoman Bonnie Venton Ross said in an email.

“To date, this means that essential services, including the supply and distribution of drinking water, wastewater treatment and solid waste management, have been the focus of most spending.”

During this fiscal year, $55,000 will be spent on garbage and recycling bins in the communities; $400,000 will be spent improving a sewer pit on the Dempster near Dawson; and $350,000 will be spent to develop solid waste management plans for “various unincorporated communities.”

Yukon’s gas tax allocation, renamed the Community Development Fund of Canada (CCDF) in June 2021, has quadrupled from about $4.5 million in 2005. The money is coming in twice per year, with a designated allocation to 23 entities.

Allocations are approximate based on population — with 68% to municipalities, 25% to 14 First Nation governments, and 7% to 15 unincorporated communities.

Because many communities and First Nations overlap, some geographic populations benefit from multiple blocks of funding while others draw solely from the pool of unincorporated funds.

In Yukon municipalities, the range of projects is wide. Along with improvements to the water system, gazebos, concession stands, and disc golf courses were constructed. Trails have been improved at Haines Junction and Dawson City. Whitehorse built its floatplane docks and added new parking lots with this funding stream of the program.

In the less organized areas of the territory, emphasis has been placed on drinking water, solid waste and purification lagoons.

For unincorporated communities or unorganized areas of the Yukon (such as Carcross, Destruction Bay, Keno City, Marsh Lake, Tagish, Rock Creek, Johnson’s Crossing, Burwash, Pelly Crossing and Beaver Creek), priorities and projects are selected and managed by the Government of Yukon. community service department. It is the department’s responsibility to select, identify and manage projects within the targeted development for “unincorporated communities”.

In a May 12 email, Venton Ross explained, “Residents have places to suggest project ideas and requests through their local advisory boards or to the department during community visits or direct lines of communication. Applications are reviewed based on need and available funds.

On May 10, Community Services provided the News with a list of descriptions of CCBF-funded projects in the unorganized Yukon from 2017-2023.

For the years 2017 to 2019, most projects fell into the water, sewer and solid waste categories. Water treatment upgrades at Rock Creek, Keno City, Tagish and Deep Creek totaled $1.18 million and various solid waste management facility upgrades cost over $2 million. An appraisal of the Beaver Creek pool was also undertaken, at a cost of approximately $25.00.

For the years 2019 to 2021, projects ranged from sewer improvements in Marsh Lake and Carmacks which totaled $1.3 million; the purchase of 40-yard recycling bins to facilitate regional recycling management cost $150,000; and a study of governance options for Carcross that cost nearly $40,000.

For the years 2021 to 2023, the major projects listed include the purchase of two new water trucks for $660,000 and three projects relating to the regionalization of residual materials management totaling $925,000, including $700,000 for the planning and $225,000 for the purchase of solid waste materials. compactors.

Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Yukon News