Fire department calls down from 2019
By Nowell Berg
On March 22, 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.
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.
Fire Department Report
As one would expect from the COVID-19 pandemic, total fire department calls or alarms were down “eight per cent” from 183 in 2019 to 170 last year.
Knight told council there were “notable increases” in calls regarding first aid (10 compared to six in 2019), back yard burning (18 compared to 12 in 2019), rescue and safety (seven compared to two in 2019), and gas spills (three compared to one in 2019).
“Notable” decreases in calls occurred for automatic alarms (28 compared to 38 in 2019), carbon monoxide alarms (eight compared to 10 in 2019), natural gas leaks (seven compared to 18 in 2019), and chimney fires (one compared to three in 2019).
Knight also noted the total calls from 2020 were the lowest in the past 10 years. Calls to the fire department have been falling for the past four years from a total of 220 in 2017. The highest number of calls occurred in 2013 with 245.
Business inspections were up in 2020 to 298. Knight told council that COVID-19, “made it a little more difficult to complete some of the business inspections.”
He concluded, “In summary, 2020 was operationally slower, with only one fire categorized as a structure fire.” He also noted that “training demands become higher” in order to compensate for low operational activity.
BC Winter Games Funding
Council approved the allocation of the BC Winter Games Legacy Grants. The program received funding requests totalling $32,487. The amount of financial assistance available for amateur sporting groups for this go round was $6,064.
In describing the funding allocation, Pam Walsh, Manager of Communications and Community Development said, “Funds distributed come from interest earned on legacy funds received from the 1980 and 2008 BC Winter Games and the 2018 BC 55+ Winter Games.”
Each councillor votes on the grant amount based on its application submission.
Eight groups will receive funding:
Kimberley Alpine Team – $1,043
Kimberley Seniors Association – $1,035
Kimberley Biathlon – $902
Kimberley Curling Club – $895
Kimberley Gymnastics Club – $700
Kimberley Indoor Sports Centre Society – $614
Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association – $583
Kootenay Freewheeler Youth Mountain Bike Program – $342.
City Wins Award
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the City of Kimberley the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting.
The city’s annual financial report was singled out, for the third consecutive year, for “demonstrating a constructive spirit of full disclosure designed to clearly communicate the municipality’s financial story.” The city’s annual report was “judged by impartial Canadian Review Committee members.”
In commenting on the award, CFO Jim Hendricks said, “A shout out to the finance team and Corporate Services who do a lot of the work that goes into the report.”
He indicated that Krista Waite, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, “puts together, in large part, the financial statements. She, as much as anyone, deserves a lot of recognition for this.”
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 12. It live streams on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.
e-KNOW file photos