Fourth Avenue rehab work phase two gets green light
By Nowell Berg
On March 9, 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.
Council approved a city staff recommendation to award the 4th Avenue Rehabilitation Project to Copcan Civil of Nanaimo.
The one-kilometre road portion of the project will cost $1,213,570, as tendered by Copcan to meet the city’s construction specifications.
Additional costs include upgrades to water, storm and sewer lines that will add another $1,936,067. The total project cost is set at $3,149,637. A 10% contingency is part of that total and standard practice according to Chris Mummery, Senior Manager – Operations.
Coun. McBain asked Mummery how the current cost numbers stack up against the budget numbers presented to council last fall.
Over-all the total project costs are just over $10,000 lower than budgeted. Mummery said, “In this instance the sanity sewer is a little bit more than anticipated, but in the other fields there is savings so it balances out.”
Coun. Oakley asked about traffic control during construction. He noted that last year, “Some staff took quite a significant amount of abuse. There should be zero tolerance for that and it should be communicated strongly.”
He urged city staff to make sure communication with affected neighbourhoods is done well in “advance.”
Mummery responded, “The contractor will come up with a traffic plan approved by us. The most problematic section will be from Trail Street to Rossland where there is still a need for access to the health centre.”
Capcon will “manage” the whole project and will be “responsible for all of those interactions between public and traffic and safety.”
Coun. McBain concurred with Coun. Oakley that, “The abuse of workers should not be tolerated at all.” Other councillors visibly agreed.
Aquatic Centre Fees Jump
A recent study into Aquatic Centre remuneration revealed Kimberley wages and benefits were lower than comparable sized municipal swimming pools. As a result, the centre operating budget increased “due to the increased wages and benefits,” said Chris Mummery.
Coun. Oakley asked if the “increase in rates relates to the increase in costs” at the Aquatic Centre. Oakley has, over the years, complained about the burden on taxpayers for subsidizing the Aquatic Centre operating costs. He asked, “How close is it to addressing the deficit?”
Mummery said the increase would be “five per cent over-all” and that it “does not meet the mark” to cover the over-all cost of operating the Aquatic Centre.
He added, “There is still going to be an increase to the parcel tax.” That increase, 2.5%, has already been applied to the parcel tax for 2020. The five per cent increase in April is “on top of that” parcel tax increase.
Coun. Roberts noted that Aquatic Centre employees wage and benefit increases have not been done for a “long-time.” She added, council was “blindsided” by the amount of the increase, noting the fee increases are a way to “mitigate” the rising employee costs.
Mayor McCormick concluded the discussion, “I think it would be safe to say that if the user rates absorbed the full burden, a $135,000 burden on what the increase was, we’d be closing the facility because nobody could afford to go there.”
The Bylaw Enforcement Officer reported to council that large numbers of dog licenses and business licenses have not been renewed.
To date, 158 businesses need to renew their license.
Also, 276 dog licenses still need to be renewed.
The renewal deadline was back on January 31.
Dynamiters Hockey Challenge
Mayor McCormick reported that, at the recent Regional District of East Kootenay board of directors’ meetings, an “enthusiastic” Al Miller, District of Invermere Mayor, issued the traditional community challenge for the current KIJHL hockey play-offs.
McCormick said, “We’re in. The losing Mayor must wear the winning team’s jersey at the earliest council meeting following the series wrap-up.”
The Kimberley Dynamiters are up two games to none against the Columbia Valley Rockies.
Games three and four take place Thursday and Friday in Invermere.
Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m., open to the public.
The next scheduled council meeting: March 23 at City Hall.
Lead image: Fourth Avenue in Townsite near the turnoff to the health centre. e-KNOW file photos