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Posted: October 27, 2021

City seeks grant for new wastewater treatment plant

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On October 25, 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.

The press and public were not in attendance. The meeting streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.

Summer quarterly calls down to RCMP

Sgt. Steve Woodcox presented the Kimberley RCMP Detachment’s quarterly report to council covering July to September 2021.

“In the past month we executed search warrants at two residences in Kimberley related to child pornography, both possession and distribution of,” he reported.

Two individuals were arrested in separate warrants and will appear in Provincial Court in Cranbrook. “Just to make everyone aware; those kind of investigations occur here and anything from the public that can help with those investigations is appreciated,” Sgt. Woodcox said.

Mental health calls continue to decrease. The detachment received 10 calls compared to 18 last year. “Right now, it’s under control and is a positive thing.”

Aggravated assault charges were laid against an individual resulting from a “road rage” incident in the ski hill area. One person was sent to hospital with serious injuries.

Six sudden deaths were reported over the summer. Responding to Mayor McCormick’s query, Woodcox said, “There was nothing suspicious in any of them. None of them were, as far as I know, related to Covid.”

Over the summer, the detachment did not receive any calls for or about COVID-19.

A slow summer season was also reflected in the total calls for service (474) which were down from a year ago (622).

WildSafe Annual Report

Danica Lisk, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator, presented a season end report on activities undertaken in Kimberley since May. The goal of WildSafeBC is to reduce encounters between animals and humans to keep “wildlife wild.”

Among the activities Lisk undertook this past summer were garbage bin tagging, bear spray demos and door-to-door campaigns handing out information brochures.

“With the smoke and heat this year it was a challenge,” added Lisk. Even so, she found little negative impact on program participation in the community.

Again this year, deer interactions were the “top species reported.” Cougar, grizzly bear and elk reports were down this year. Raccoon, wild turkeys and coyotes interactions were also reported. “There are more people using the [Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP)] website and the RAPP line” which may account for more ungulate encounters being reported.

Coun. McBain asked, “Are you making any headway with folks feeding deer?”

Lisk replied that the majority are repeat offenders. She said eight people actively feed deer. She also noted the difficulty in issuing tickets. The Bylaw Officer needs to witness the deer eating supplied food at a private residence before any action could be taken.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Update

Mayor and council received two update reports on the proposed construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP).

Chief administrative officer Scott Sommerville told council there is a new intake for the Federal-Provincial Environmental Quality Program grant. It supports capital improvements for wastewater. “This is the grant we’ve been waiting for. It’s the best chance we’ve got since the design has been completed,” he said.

One concern Sommerville pointed out was the rapid increase in the city’s population. The WTP design “is built for 9,015 residents in 2041. We’re catching up to those projections pretty quickly,” as 2020 B.C. statistics peg the city’s population estimate at 8,151. StatsCan will release updated population numbers from the 2021 Census in early February 2022.

Jim Hendricks, chief financial officer, informed council it needs to have a borrowing bylaw in place for the $16 million of the city’s portion, out of the construction costs currently estimated at $65 million, as part of the grant application.

Hendricks said a new construction estimate along with an inflation factor are being sought to better understand the city’s total contribution and resulting tax and utility fee increases needed to support the borrowing bylaw.

As for keeping the current plant, Mayor McCormick said, “We don’t have an option. The plant is worn out. The risk is toilets don’t flush.” He also suggested the city would conduct a referendum in the October 2022 municipal election.

Residents and taxpayers can expect lots of WTP information as the city moves forward.

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: November 8. It will live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.

e-KNOW file photos



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