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Posted: August 27, 2019

Council chambers renovated; Save-on update

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On August 26, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick. Councillor Darryl Oakley was absent.

Council chambers renovated

After moving the last council meeting off-site, councillors returned to newly renovated City Hall Chambers.

The renovation entailed a complete change in the chamber. All the old furniture and chairs were replaced with contemporary desks and chairs. New carpeting was installed and a fresh coat of paint applied.

After these cosmetic upgrades, the biggest change occurred by moving councillors’ desks to the opposite side of the room.

Three new large TV monitors were also installed to provide councillors and the gallery with easy visual access to the meeting agenda along with graphics or photos of any items being addressed.

The walls of the old chamber were lined with photographs of past councils. Those photos have now been digitized and are displayed in a slide show running on the TV monitors.

Mayor McCormick congratulated Maryse Leroux and her team for the “awesome job” of completing the renovations on time and under-budget.

So far, the cost of the renovations, which include upgrades to the conference room, total $62,000. The budget allocation for City Hall renovations is $98,000.

Save-on-Foods Takes Next Step

Council approved a development permit for the new Save-on-Foods supermarket which includes a “phased re-development” of the old Overwaitea land.

The first phase has been completed which includes the demolishing of the old bowling alley and movie theatre building, adjustments to the parking area and utility upgrades.

The second phase will be the new building construction which should begin this fall.

While the new supermarket is being built, the existing store will stay open “as much as possible for as long as possible during construction,” said Troy Pollock, Manager Planning Services.

The final phase of the re-development will see the old store demolished and completion of the parking lot upgrade. The main access to the store will be from Archibald Street.

The new supermarket will be 60% larger than the existing store. While this means a reduction in the number of parking stalls, Pollock said Save-on-Foods was looking at how to add additional parking spaces. He also noted that a traffic impact study concluded there would not be a significant increase in traffic congestion in the area after construction is complete.

Transit Update

The annual BC Transit Performance Summary was presented to council by Troy Pollock. He indicated the report showed “very positive trends for us [the city].”

He continued, “Ridership over-all continues to increase across the board.” So far this year, to the end of July, there have been 16,617 riders for the commuter service, health connections service and winter shuttle. This amounts to a 5.3% increase over 2018 (15,780 riders) and a 17.8% increase (13,394 riders) since 2017.

In response to ridership feedback, Pollock said, “The “commuter service [is] doubling.” Starting September 3, the KC Commuter service will add an extra morning and late afternoon bus to the schedule. They will run a half-hour earlier and a half-hour later, respectively. “Things are in order, the signs are up and schedules posted,” said Pollock.

Coun. Goodwin noted that BC Transit intends to switch out all buses to “electric vehicles.”

He suggested the city push to have local buses changed “earlier” if it were an option.

Over the next five years, BC Transit intends for 45% of the bus fleet across the province to be switched to “compressed natural gas, fully electric buses and new electric hybrid systems.”

Transit packages, 10 tickets for the price of nine, are available at City Hall and the Transit office at the Health Centre.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m., open to the public.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting: September 9 at City Hall.

Lead images by Nowell Berg

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