Elevator approved for Centre 64
Kimberley City Council Report
By Nowell Berg
City of Kimberley Council met at its bi-monthly meeting (July 25) where several reports were filed, presentations made and city business conducted. Here is a summary of that meeting.
Kimberley RCMP Operations NCO Cpl. Chris Newel reported that JulyFest was mostly quiet and calm; nothing extreme occurred during the event. He also indicated the detachment has stepped up speed enforcement along Norton Avenue due to increased traffic from the closure of Gerry Sorensen Way.
Mayor Don McCormick urged motorists to slow down while taking the traffic detour to the resorts above Gerry Sorensen Way.
Elevator approved for Centre 64
Carol Fergus from Kimberley Arts Council informed city council they would like to move ahead with installing an elevator on the south side of Centre 64 to facilitate accessibility to the second floor of the building. Because the land and building are city owned, the Arts Council required city council approval to move ahead with grant applications and architectural designs. City council unanimously approved the Arts Council’s request. Construction of the elevator will hopefully start in spring of 2017.
Coordinator of the Kimberley City Bakery Medieval Festival, Michelle Forbes, provided a brief summary of event activities. The second year for the festival was a great success. The medieval village “doubled in size” from last year. She estimated close to 10,000 people participated in activities over the weekend. The festival will run again next year.
Renovations at Kootenay Savings Credit Union require a variance to the Sign Bylaw that will allow new slightly larger signs to be added to the fascia of the building. City council passed a motion to instruct administrative staff to issue a notice to neighbours regarding the new signs. This renovation will result in the removal of the bulletin board that is used for posting public posters.
UBCM attendance approved
City council also unanimously authorized Mayor McCormick and Councillor Sandra Roberts to attend the 2016 Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Victoria this September. Council also authorized the Mayor to attend the BC Mayors’ Caucus meeting during the convention. Mayor McCormick indicated that he was working on setting up six meetings with various provincial government ministers to discuss local issues. He plans to meet with the ministries representing health, seniors, watershed policy and Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) renewal.
The RMI is important in providing funds for “capital initiatives” to enhance the tourist experience in Kimberley. This fund dovetails with the Resort Municipality Destination Tax, which provides money for the marketing and promotion of Kimberley.
The mayor will also meet with Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development & Minister Responsible for TransLink, to discuss the city’s position on AirBnB.
The ministry is looking into the implications of AirBnB along with Uber “that are operating outside of existing regulation at the provincial or municipal levels.” For McCormick it’s about protecting existing businesses and being sure the city collects its share of taxes.
For example, a BnB goes through “all kinds of regulator applications to be approved as an approved accommodation.” They also have to charge taxes, PST, GST and the Destination Tax, which AirBnB participants do not pay. The meeting with Fassbender is all about making sure the provincial government is aware of the City of Kimberley’s position.
Donation for minor hockey
City council approved an in-kind donation of $250 to Kimberley Minor Hockey Association.
Gymnastics Club update
The Kimberley Gymnastics Club made a presentation regarding their business plan that outlines the need for a new facility within the next five years.
After discussion amongst the mayor and councillors, the motion to instruct city staff “to further research any of the options outlined in this [club’s] report” did not pass. The mayor felt that it was “premature,” in terms of the club’s plan, to direct staff in this regard. Coun. Kent Goodwin suggested doing a public/private land swap similar to what the city has already done, re: the Esso station.
Coun. Roberts questioned the viability of re-building on the same location given the radon gas issue. Mayor McCormick said radon gas is not connected to the land, but the ventilation of the building. He also said the city had received an email from a local, unnamed, contractor indicating they thought the estimated $650,000 to construct a new building was high, and this company would be willing to work with the club to design and build a facility at a lower cost.
Wallgrain Mixed Doubles Classic to get city help
McGillivray announced that Curl Canada has secured a major sponsor for the tournament, which will be Wallgrain Handling Systems, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain storage, drying, handling and monitoring systems for farms.
The tournament is now called the Wallgrain Mixed Doubles Classic. It will be held this Nov 14-16 at the Curling Club.
Applications start July 26 and McGillivray anticipates 24 teams will file the $400 registration fee. The total purse is $23,000. The winner gets $5,000 and a spot in the 2018 Mixed Doubles Olympic qualifying tournament. The team that wins this qualifying tournament will represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.
The club has already started recruiting volunteers from the local curling community. However, “anybody interested in helping us out, please call me 778-481-1971,” said McGillivray.
Kimberley city council meets twice monthly and all meetings are open to the public. Check out the city’s website for meeting dates and times.