City of Kimberley bylaw fines being increased
Kimberley City Council Report
By Nowell Berg
On February 8, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.
Councillors attended the meeting in-person; however, the press and public were not allowed in Council Chambers.
The meeting streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.
New RCMP Detachment Commander S/Sgt. Steve Woodcox made his first presentation to council. Sgt. Woodcox has 21 years of service with the RCMP and indicated he is “very happy” to be part of Kimberley.
Sgt. Woodcox’s report covered October to December 2020.
During that time, the detachment received 405 calls for service, up from 382 in 2019. Of the 405, 113 were for vehicle incidents.
Only 12 calls were received for the quarter regarding Covid. This is down substantially from the first pandemic wave. According to Sgt. Woodcox, “In the last month, the Covid related calls have disappeared.”
Coun. Goodwin asked about “15 outstanding warrants” mentioned in the report.
Woodcox answered, “I want to say that the 15 people mentioned in the report do not all reside in Kimberley.”
Woodcox estimated that of the 15 only three people reside in town. Noting that arrest warrants are usually provincial in scope, “A lot of people leave the jurisdiction so they can’t get arrested.”
Responding to a question from Mayor McCormick about mental health calls, Sgt. Woodcox acknowledge that “Kimberley’s volume of mental health calls remains similar to other detachments of comparative size.”
He added that 27 calls during the quarter “take up a considerable amount of time.” Nine times in the past quarter Kimberley officers transported a person to the Cranbrook hospital and are “required” to stay with them until they are either admitted or released by a doctor.
Bylaw fines step closer to increase
Corporate Officer, Maryse Leroux said the proposed amendments were “another instalment of the MTI saga.”
Leroux’s report to council indicates changes to the MTI Bylaw, “allow for the use of tickets as an enforcement tool and increase of fines.” In the past, some offences were not subject to a fine, and offences could only be ticketed by the Bylaw Officer. The list of those with the ability to issue a ticket has expanded to include building officers, business license inspector, and, in the case of the Fire Bylaw, Assistant Fire Chief and Fire officers can now issue fines for violations.
In terms of fine increases, the city undertook a review of other similar sized municipalities around the province. It showed that Kimberley fines needed to increase to make them “comparable.”
Fines for violations of the Building Code and construction practices have increased. For example, failure to obtain a required permit now comes with a $500 fine, for each incident. If there is interference with or obstruction of a Building Official, the fine is also $500.
The Fire Bylaw will now contain 28 offences where there were only six before. Likewise, the Open Burning Bylaw offences has increased “from eight to 11.” The fine for fireworks infractions jumps to $250.00 for the first offence and $500.00 for each subsequent offence.
Active Transportation Network Plan
Once finalized, the plan “will be used to guide infrastructure planning and budgeting decisions” when it comes to walking, cycling and other active modes of transport said Pollock. He admitted there was “a lot of information to sort through,” but in the end, the plan will offer more coordination between walking and biking trails, and “ensure eligibility for future…funding opportunities.”
Based on community and stakeholder feedback from the first round of consultations, 50 capital projects were identified as priorities for any future development in active transportation.
Community members are encouraged to view the draft plan and full list of potential projects, and provide feedback online. This access is available until Feb 17.
Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. Due to pandemic restrictions, the public is not allowed to attend Council Chambers.
The next scheduled Council meeting: February 22. It live streams on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.