Another robust year for building in Kimberley
By Nowell Berg
On January 10, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.
Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain, Darryl Oakley were present along with Mayor Don McCormick. Coun. Sandra Roberts attended by video conference.
Due to pandemic restrictions, the public and media are not allowed to attend Council Chambers. Meetings live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.
Building Permit Report
Council received the final 2021 Building Report that shows another robust year in residential building.
Troy Pollock, Manager Planning Services, told council there were “72 new dwelling units [built] last year. We expect another busy year this year.”
He noted that two new subdivisions opening up in Forest Crowne and Marysville Views “will generate a number of building permits.”
Last year saw 225 total permits issued across all categories with the total project value coming in just under $24 million which was about $6 million more than 2020 and slightly behind the record set in 2019.
Twenty-seven permits were issued for new residential dwellings along with 68 permits for renovations to an existing dwelling. As well, 20 permits were issued for garages or carports.
“We had a pretty good year building permit wise in Kimberley.”
He noted that most of that was due to residential building but added “given the number of inquiries coming in now as our population has begun to grow we’re starting to see more interest in commercial development,” said Mayor McCormick.
Council was asked to approve the placement of a metal sculpture in front of the library and allocate an in-kind grant of $1,200 for city staff to install it.
Last October (2021), the library formally petitioned council for approval to install the sculpture. At that time, council asked staff to report on the feasibility of the location to make sure it didn’t interfere with any city infrastructure requirements.
Created by Marysville resident Tom Watson, the sculpture and its placement at the pubic library received support from city staff.
Coun. Oakley said, “I’m a little bit concerned about the direction of the use of space in the Platzl. I’d rather have a policy in place regarding how public space is used.” He said he would not support the library request.
Noting that “community statuary should be all over the community not just in front of library.” Coun. Roberts agreed, “We need a plan.”
Coun. McBain said, “We can use every bit of art to try and create some positive vibes in town right now. I think having a plan is great, but for now this is a one-off. I think it’s a good thing.”
“The sculpture is already created and has a natural tie-in with the library, being a book, and given staff has approved the location, I think we can go ahead with this one,” said Coun. Goodwin. He concluded, “Pubic art is a good thing.”
Mayor McCormick added, “This piece of art was donated specifically to the library. I’m fully in support of this.”
Five councilors voted to approve the sculpture location and in-kind grant for its installation.
Coun. Oakley voted against installation and the in-kind grant.
Covid and City Facilities
Manager of Parks and Facilities, Nicole Halasz updated council on the latest COVID-19 restrictions issued by the provincial government and Public Health Office.
Halasz said, “As of Dec. 23, 2021, aquatic facilities require proof of vaccination for those 22-years and older.” Capacity is still limited to 50% of normal. She said the restrictions have had “no effect on over-all programming numbers.”
The Aquatic Centre has yet to reach maximum COVID capacity numbers since reopening last July.
Halasz noted that anyone 22-years and older who is participating in a practice or game on-ice must have “proof of vaccination.” As well, anyone 12-years and older visiting but not participating must also show “proof of vaccination.”
The Marysville Arena is operating under the same restrictions.
Halasz reiterated, “Staff continue to do our best to ensure areas are clean, we’re wearing our masks and we are ensuring those coming to our facilities are vaccinated.”
She concluded, “For the most part we haven’t run into a whole lot of frustrated people.”
Kimberley City Council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. The next scheduled council meeting is January 24.