City enjoying surge in construction
By Nowell Berg
On July 8, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.
Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick.
We’re having an awesome year: Mayor McCormick
Council received the 2019 year-to-date building permit report which the city uses as one indicator of economic health.
“We are just a light-year ahead of where we’ve been in any other first half of the year,” said Mayor Don McCormick.
The three top building permit categories, to the end of June, include: renovations to an existing single-family dwelling (31), new single-family dwellings (13) and garage or carport (13) (number of permits).
The total value of building permits so far in 2019 is now $13.7 million compared to just $4.9 million in 2018. This six-month total is close to eclipsing the yearly total for 2018.
According to the Mayor, “The multi-residential [construction] is what has been driving the building permits up substantially.”
With a half-year remaining and several large construction projects looking to move forward, including the new Save-on Foods store, “We have the opportunity to end up north of $30 million this year,” said McCormick.
Residential false alarms increasing
Kimberley Fire Chief Rick Prasad provided council with a mid-year update on the department’s activities.
In summing up the year so far, Prasad said, “Responses are pretty typical, we haven’t seen a lot of changes.”
To-date, the Fire Department has handled 91 calls for service compare to 100 in the first half of last year.
While automatic alarms only increased from 20 (2018) to 23, Prasad noted the department is “getting a lot of residential false alarms.”
He said these alarms are primarily occurring in homes of “absentee owners.” This creates an access problem for firefighters who would normally break-down the door to gain entry to the home.
“We’re running into some challenges around that so we’re coming up with a plan so we can access those [homes] without destroying the door,” he said.
Training remains a big part of the department’s activity. “We have a lot of people go through some really big courses so they can better serve the community,” said Prasad.
The department now has three certified hazmat technicians, four members certified in hazmat operations and two certifications in occupational first aid level 3.
Prasad deemed the senior smoke alarm program “a success.”
The department has removed and replaced 100 obsolete alarms over the past few years. “We continue to replace [smoke alarm] batteries for seniors at no charge. They just call us and we go out and offer that service.“
Seniors are encouraged to call for a free smoke alarm assessment. They may be eligible for a no charge smoke alarm to replace a damaged, broken or old one.
The city received a Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and Forest Enhancement BC grant for just over $681,000. It’s being allocated to the forest fuel management program. This new money will be used for prescribed burns in Kimberley Nordic area (140.5 ha), Myrtle Mountain (58.2 ha) and Forest Crowne (15.0 ha). These burns begin in spring 2020.
Also part of the program will be thinning and ground fuels reduction in Kimberley Nature Park (137.4 ha). Look for activity starting this fall.
Animal Control & Bylaw Enforcement Report
Barking dogs and unleashed dogs continue to be a problem according to the Bylaw and Animal Control Enforcement Officer (BACEO). Their report notes there are many resources online that assist owners in training their dog to be quiet. One suggestion is daily walks which are beneficial for both owner and canine.
At this time of year, does and fawns are beginning to appear around town. If you come across them, the BACEO recommends “giving them space” by crossing the street or turning around and walking in the opposite direction.
The city places signs in areas of known deer activity to warn children and tourists “to be careful.” However, this past month three signs were “stolen from City streets.” Contact the Bylaw Enforcement Officer if you have seen these signs or know where they are.
Residents are reminded, “The use of recreational vehicles as living quarters on city streets and public places is not permitted in the City of Kimberley.” Three such instances were dealt with in June and resolved.
You are allowed to park your recreational vehicle in front of your home. However, it cannot be occupied while located there.
Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m.; open to the public.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting: July 22.