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Posted: April 13, 2021

Curb-side recycling a go come August

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On April 12, City of Kimberley City council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

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

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.

Curb-side Re-cycling Green to Go

Council received a report on the implementation timeline and costs for the curb-side re-cycling program.

The capital cost of purchasing the collection carts, $239,245, is being done “through the Regional District of East Kootenay’s (RDEK) Central Solid Waste Diversionary Fund.”

The city received only one response to its RFP for the automated curb-side pick-up service, and that was from GFL Environmental Inc. A staff review of the company’s credentials and references indicate it has “the experience, equipment and expertise to perform the curb-side collection services.”

However, the GFL fees to collect curb-side re-cycling were higher than the RecycleBC (RBC) incentives.

Consequently, city staff recommend “the creation of a new solid waste user fee” that covers the shortfall between the contractor (GFL) fees and those paid by RBC.

Nik Morissette, Manager of Roads, said “Unfortunately the [collection] costs are coming in a little bit higher than we had anticipated resulting in a little bit of a fee increase for residents.”

Based on numbers provided to council, the new curb-side user fee in year one will be “$0.92/household/month or $11.02 per year.”

Subsequent fees will be addressed each year by council.

Coun. Goodwin indicated he would have liked the program to be a “break-even proposition.” He also said that “a buck a month to have your recycling picked up seems like a reasonably good deal for most homeowners.”

Coun. Dalum said, “I know recycling is not a perfect solution in anyway, but it behooves us to take action where we can. I’m going forward with this.”

“At the end of the day, given that fact that it’s a small monthly cost, I think it’s reasonably acceptable,” said Coun. McBain.

Mayor McCormick said, “I think the question is: Is council committed to going ahead with the recycling program, period. And, if the answer is yes, then we do it and adjust on the fly as we go.”

Council approved the staff recommendation creating a new user fee.

August 31 is the start date for curb-side recycling in Kimberley.

Building Permits Continue Steady Growth

Council received the monthly building permit report showing that construction activity in the city remains steady.

So far this year (Q1), the number of building permits has already surpassed that of last year. 40 permits have been issued over the past three months compared to 34 total permits in 2020.

The construction value of current permits is just over $4 million. The city received $50,380 in fees. Five permits have been issued for new family dwellings along with eight permits for renovations to existing family homes. Two permits were issued for the construction of a duplex or two-family dwelling.

Responding to a query from Mayor McCormick about increased demand for Planning Department services and being two staff persons short, Troy Pollock, Manager Planning Services said, “We’re hangin’ in there.”

He also indicated the city was in the process of hiring a new planner and building inspector, and, in terms of building activity, “There’s more to come for sure. We see lots of activity coming down the pipe.”

Short-Term Rental Policy

Council approved city staff’s request to move ahead with the development and implementation of the Short-Term Rental (STR) policy for the city. This policy will update regulations for STR’s and improve enforcement related to “fines or revocation of business licenses of non-compliant STR operators.”

With the rise of short-term rentals, city staff have noticed an increase in complaints about the “negative effects” of STR’s especially excessive noise from party houses, along with nuisance, parking and safety concerns.

In terms of public engagement, Troy Pollock, Manager Planning Services said, “We’re hoping to begin soon with the initial rounds of engagement with community members and short-term operators and residents. This input will be used to refine an STR policy ‘to balance’ the needs of STR providers and manage the impacts on neighbours.”

Council could see a draft bylaw by the end of June. Pollock noted that policy approval could be sought over the summer. Community education would begin as soon as council adopts the STR bylaw and run through to the end of the year. Enforcement would start in early 2022.

Coun. Roberts asked about “accessing other municipalities’ information on their policy do’s and don’ts to learn what’s working well for them.” Pollock replied, “Yes, for sure, a lot of work has been done in other communities on STRs.”

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: April 26. It live streams on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.

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