Council wrestles with urban deer issue again
By Nowell Berg
On June 13, 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.
Due to pandemic restrictions, the public and media are not allowed to attend Council Chambers. Meetings live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.
Deer in council headlights
Since the city withdrew from working with provincial authorities to reduce the number of deer by relocation, the ungulate population, according to Coun. Oakley is now close to 200 animals.
“We have been waiting for the provincial government to do something. They’ve had several years to make a plan and have not,” he urgently stressed.
Coun. Oakley sought a resolution from council to educate town residents that “any deer or ungulates are the responsibility of the province” not the city. He wants the city to use all communication channels available to publicly display the names and phone numbers of the ministries responsible for dealing with deer.
His initial request was for a large banner strung over Wallinger Avenue that would have the relevant contact information printed in a bold florescence colour.
Coun. Oakley said, “We need to pressure the province to step up to the table and take responsibility for dealing with the ungulate population in town.”
Saying there needs to be a sense of urgency from the province, Coun. McBain added, “I think it’s a huge safety issue.” He related to council his experience with having a new born fawn residing “underneath the front door” of his home. The doe was running off other deer in the area.
He said, “I’m extremely concerned of the likelihood of a little kid will get seriously injured. It’s coming to a breaking point and something needs to be done.”
Coun. Roberts told the story of spotting a man in wheelchair with a leashed service dog traveling along the street. “I can see a deer ready to attack him ‘cause it’s fawn was nearby. Everywhere we go this last week there were deer everywhere.”
She supports Coun. Oakley’s initiative but felt the use of the city’s website and newspaper ads were better communication alternatives. She also noted the banner over Wallinger is used by other community groups not just the city.
While “fully supportive” of making the province take responsibility for the deer problem, Coun. Goodwin was concerned about a “fixed banner” given that ministries and their phone numbers keep changing. He supported Coun. Roberts push to use all of the city’s communication channels.
Coun. Kitto noted the city has “taken some responsibility by putting out sandwich boards” warning of deer activity in the area. He suggested adding contact info to those signs.
“The time to have the conversation is December or January, not during fawning season and the heat of the moment,” said Mayor McCormick. The deer issue is a “hot potato” with everyone “passing the buck, nobody wants to take responsibility.” He concluded, “It’s a terrible situation.”
In his final comments, Coun. Oakley said, “The COs don’t do anything about deer. I don’t have an expectation of them to do anything.” Sourced in this frustration, he suggested a solution was to “dart and euthanize deer in January.”
Meadowbrook Celebration June 26
The city received a letter from the Meadowbrook Community Association (MCA) inviting council and city staff to the organization’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Festivities will be held at Cherry Creek Falls Park on Sunday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and include information displays, free food, and music.
MCA Board Chair Bob Johnstone invited the city, staff and residents to enjoy the gathering and the “spectacular falls.”
Kimberley Bobcats and Snow Removal has received a one-year contract for landscape maintenance at Cominco Gardens. The award is valued at $39,250.
The company will be responsible for the replacement or repair of infrastructure, painting, building improvements and tree removal as overseen by the city’s Manager Parks and Facilities and the city horticulturalist.
Mayor McCormick said, “Recognizing that the gardens are an important amenity to the community, this one-year arrangement will provide the needed maintenance in 2022 as we develop a long-term strategy for the gardens.”
Council approves purchase of organics collection truck
Council approved the purchase of an organics collection truck. The $367,136.00 contract was awarded to Westvac Industrial Ltd. (Calgary, AB). The truck will contain a new 2022 Rotopac Automated Refuse Collection Body mounted on a 2023 Freightliner M2 Chassis.
The city is responsible for organic collections which is different from the curbside re-cycle program. A grant has been received to cover not only the cost of the truck but also the cost of getting the program up and running.
An additional benefit is that this truck can be used as a backup for other curbside programs.
Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. The next scheduled regular council meeting: June 27.
e-KNOW file photos