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Posted: November 24, 2021

Electrify the Mountain contracts awarded

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On November 22, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain and Darryl Oakley were present along with Mayor Don McCormick. Coun. Sandra Roberts participated by video conference.

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

Trails Update

“We had a fantastic year. We’re proud of the projects we completed,” said Ryan McKenzie, Kimberley Trails Society GM.

In his year-end report to council, McKenzie noted the society was able to hire seven crew members to work on “maintenance and construction of projects” over the summer.

One key piece of trail infrastructure has the installation of an aluminum bridge over Mathew Creek connecting the “Nature Park all the way over to the Bootleg connection to TransCanada Trail.” Volunteers and trail crew worked to construct a section of wooden boardwalk through an area of the Nature Park covered with a lot of wet soggy ground. Also, part of the summer’s work was a complete inventory of trails in Kimberley.

McKenzie reported that trail crews spent 2,656 hours on trail projects. This was supported by “over 700 volunteer hours” that were “limited” due to the pandemic.

Electrify the Mountain routes have been “flagged” and two trail building contracts, (worth $331,888), were awarded to “very good long standing trail builders. They will do a fantastic job and meet all the goals of the Electrify the Mountain project.” Starr Trail Solutions received a contract worth $96,813 and Lifetime Outdoor at $235,075.

Coun. Roberts praised McKenzie and his team for the “trail inventory.”

She asked McKenzie how many kilometres of trails exist because she felt there were “more miles of trails than streets in our city.” He responded with 180 km of trails.

Chief administrative officer Scott Sommerville told e-KNOW that Kimberley has “81 kms of paved roads and 18 kms of unpaved.” Mayor McCormick said, in an email, a “rough estimate” on the total length of ski runs would be 120 kms.

Financial Report and Procurement Update

Chief financial officer Jim Hendricks provided council with an over-view of the city’s financial performance for the first three quarters of 2021.

In terms of revenue, parks and facilities were down due to “pandemic closures.”

Hendricks also noted Fire Department revenue was down because “fuels management projects” were affected by the hot dry summer and “work did not get done.” Thus, grant money was not received.

Hendricks summarized, “Nothing is really jumping out in this report causing me any concerns at this point in time.”

Referring to the extra work done through the Annual Road Rehab Program, Mayor McCormick said, “I heard all around town this year about the work that’s been done on roads. It has been noticeable.”

Hendricks added that $692,000 was spent on road repairs this past summer.

Other large purchases made by the city this year include:

Tandem Axle Dump Truck – $242,316;

Curbside Recycling Collection Carts – $239,424;

Playfield Mower – $34,808.

Fire Engine Purchase

As part of the adjustments to the Five-Year Financial Plan, CFO Hendricks noted the key change was the elimination of new Fire Department parking bays.

Fire Chief Rick Prasad said his original plan had been to “move the ladder truck up into the core where it should be.”

This would require new truck bays at Fire Station 1 to accommodate the ladder truck height and “reduce the need to buy customized fire trucks to fit into the current bays.”

Hendricks noted the initial cost estimate to buy a new fire truck was $600,000, but the final total came in at $1.3 million. Consequently, city administration proposes buying a “customized” fire truck (over $800,000) instead of building new fire truck bays

Chief Prasad said, “There are a lot of decisions to be made over the next four or five years.” He is currently preparing a plan for the future of the Fire Department.

“There’s always a tendency to look short-term at a less expensive fix. It’s not just about the fire hall, search and rescue is limping along with facilities that are completely inadequate,” said Mayor McCormick.

He suggested the city look at an “integrated facility” merging fire, ambulance and search and rescue.

Chief Prasad told council the “new evolution of fire halls is not necessarily a stand-alone building.” He has seen fire hall plans that include residences and commercial space. “We’re exploring options including energy efficient buildings.”

He hopes to have a plan before council in the near future.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. Due to pandemic restrictions, the public and media are not allowed to attend Council Chambers.

The next scheduled council meeting: December 13. It livestreams on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel. This was the last regular council meeting for 2021.

Lead image: Kimberley Trails Society photo


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