Council updated on groundwater migration
By Nowell Berg
On January 11, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting and the first of 2021.
Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick.
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.
Teck Ground Water Migration
Teck Resources’ Ryan Peterson made a presentation to council regarding the migration of groundwater from the old Sullivan Mine site underground at Townsite, Marysville and along Gerry Sorensen Way.
Peterson stated, “Teck is here in town. We’re responsible. We acknowledge the groundwater migration. We are here and we will be addressing it.”
The primary source of the groundwater impact is “acid rock drainage.” Teck has 80 wells used to test groundwater on the mine site and around Kimberley. As well, Teck has several mitigation systems in place to reduce the impact of groundwater migration. This includes gathering “waste materials,” the source of contamination, along with covering the exposed waste materials to avoid contact with air and water.
In terms of the effect on property owners, Peterson said, “The impacted groundwater should not affect the day to day use of the properties as it is located below the grounds surface.”
The municipal water system in Kimberley is not affect by this groundwater migration.
Coun. Dalum asked if Teck knew “at what depths the contamination is at?” Peterson answered, “It varies considerably, depending where you are. It’s typically below 5 meters and often times much, much great depths.”
Teck has implemented several channels for residents to obtain more information about the affected areas, or provide feedback on Teck plans. The phone number is 250-427-8425, or email, [email protected]
Building Permits Take a Hit in 2020
Building permits decreased by 10.5%, from 238 to 213 last year. The value of building permits dropped 41% from $31.7 million (2019) to $18.7 million last year.
The total number of new dwellings constructed in 2020 reached 56 which is a 32.5% drop from the record 83 new dwellings constructed in 2019. New dwellings include single-family homes and multi-residential units.
The total number of new dwellings constructed since 2016 has been 249.
Troy Pollock, Manager Planning Services, said 2020 was “another good year.” He indicated that considerable activity occurred in Dec (2020) and so far this January, “Looks like we’re heading into another good year,” he concluded.
2021 Community Grants Allocation
Council approved the city’s grants to local organizations. The cash and in-kind grants totalled $111,969 spread out across 27 groups.
The largest cash grant went to the Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society which will receive $16,670. The Spark Youth Drop-in Program gets $12,143.
The Rotary Club’s Marysville walkway improvement project receives $7,326 cash and a $5,802 in-kind grant.
The Summit Community Services Society’s victim services program receives a $5,000 cash grant.
The largest in-kind grant went to Kimberley Arts Council to cover costs associated with first Saturdays. They receive $ 7,922 in-kind grant plus $2,714 cash for a total of $ 10,636.
Kimberley Arts Council also received additional in-kind grants of $ 3,067 and $ 1,802 that are targeted for the Centre 64 washroom upgrade and the Kaleidoscope Arts & Cultural Festival.
Other large in-kind grants went to the Chamber of Commerce for JulyFest ($7,613), the Community Fall Fair ($5,957) and the Gymnastic Society ($3,594 grant for buildings and grounds maintenance).
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: January 25. It will live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.