City approves temporary water fix to allow hotel to open

Development company given one year to make permanent fix, bring its connection up to city standard

The JAM hotel and boarding home, pictured as it was under construction. On Friday, city council approved a motion allowing the hotel and boarding home to install a valve so the building can connect to the city’s water system and the hotel can open. (Photo by Milan Mrdjenovich)

By David Lochead

A city council decision Friday should allow a new Iqaluit hotel to finally open, after facing several delays.

Opening of the JAM hotel and boarding home, developed by JAM Investments, has been delayed while it awaited city approval for its plan to connect to the municipal water system.

In a special meeting Friday, city council unanimously approved a solution that will involve a temporary access valve connecting the hotel to the city’s water lines, and a metal access vault to store excess water and prevent flooding.

However, approval is only temporary because the process does not meet the standards of the city’s design guidelines.

JAM Investments will have one year to replace its temporary water service line with a permanent one that does meet city standards.

The cost for the temporary access valve is $300,000, to be split between JAM Investments and the city.

Asked by Coun. Simon Nattaq whether the city could find an entity to help fund the project, such as the Government of Nunavut, the city’s director of engineering and capital planning Sumon Ghosh said that’s an option that can be looked into.

Deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard said the costs will be included in the 2024 municipal budget.

The hotel and boarding room is four storeys tall and located at the intersection of Queen Elizabeth Way and Niaqunngusiariaq Road.

Ghosh told council the reason the temporary water vault is needed now is because the hotel has already registered guests for next month.

JAM Investments made previous applications to connect to water and sewage services in 2021 and May 2022 but both were denied.

Coun. Paul Quassa asked if council can be confident that this water connection will be effective since it doesn’t meet city guidelines.

Ghosh responded, saying there would be written conditions for the developer to adhere to.

Sheppard said getting water services running in the JAM hotel and boarding home so it can open will be helpful, specifically for medical travellers.

“I think it’s an important asset for the city, going forward, and our services,” he said.

He said part of the reason previous proposals couldn’t be approved is the state of the city’s own infrastructure.

“Our concrete manhole is rotted out,” Sheppard said of the tube-shaped underground equipment needed to connect water services.


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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Plan before you act on

    “Ghosh told council the reason the temporary water vault is needed now is because the hotel has already registered guests for next month.”

    Maybe they should have confirmed the water situation first before booking guests?

    • Posted by John K on

      Then how would they have got emergency permission to connect in a manner that normally wouldn’t have been approved?

      • Posted by Plan before you act on

        Beeg brain plan by JAM

        • Posted by Long time onserver on

          Classic move. They do this over and over again and get away with it.

          Rules are for other people I guess

  2. Posted by Tax payers taken again on

    Why is the City helping to pay for the valve? This is the responsibility of JAM. They made the mistake when they built the hotel, They need to cover it. Tax payers are already maxed out and now this? How many other local businesses are given this financial bailout? There is no mention of JAM paying back the City.

  3. Posted by Think About It on

    “whether the city could find an entity to help fund the project, such as the Government of Nunavut”

    Here we go again, the City asking the GN for infrastructure money to fix a preventable issue. Iqaluit is the only community within Nunavut allowed to collect taxes to allow for expenses like this. The GN should step in and help for emergencies, but this is not anything close to an emergency. I guess it is easier to hold your hand out than hold your people accountable.

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