Iqaluit city council distributes $500K for COVID-19 relief
Council also votes to delay sewage repairs due to high costs spurred by pandemic
Four Iqaluit organizations will receive a share of a half million dollars for pandemic relief, city council decided Tuesday evening.
Uquutaq Society will receive $155,000 for its transitional housing and shelters, Tukisigiarvik will receive $65,000 for its hygiene and food programs, Qajuqturvik Food Centre will receive $65,000 for its food service, and YWCA Agvvik will receive $55,000.
The city received the money in 2020 from the territorial and federal government through a national program for homelessness called Reaching Home.Of the original $1.3 million the city received, $163,196 remains, said Alison Drummond, the city’s senior director of corporate services.
The organizations have until the end of the year to use the money, Drummond said.
Council also approved several other items related to COVID-19 planning.
Upgrades to the city’s sewer system will be put on hold until early 2022, as council chose to defer the project because of high bidding prices associated with the pandemic.
The city is currently in phase two of a four-phase plan for sewage upgrades.
It plans to upgrade the sewer main at the Four Corners intersection and install culverts from the RBC building down Mivvik Street, according to project manager Cameron McDonald, who presented the information at an April committee meeting.
The delay means new buildings between the intersection and Baffin Gas will require holding tanks, and buildings with tanks already installed will have to keep them, said chief administrative officer Amy Elgersma during Tuesday’s meeting.
The city allocated $4.4 million for the project, and the lowest bid the city received was still $2.8 million over budget, she said.
“The cost of the project faced massive inflation due to a shortage of materials in the supply chain, as well as isolation costs for transient workers,” wrote McDonald in an email to Nunatsiaq News.
“The risk associated with bringing workers into the community during the pandemic was also a consideration.”