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Posted: April 26, 2022

Kimberley seeing a 5.58% tax increase

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On April 25, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

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

Due to pandemic restrictions, the public and media are not allowed to attend Council Chambers. Meetings live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.

Property Taxes Rate Up

Chief financial officer Jim Hendricks presented council with a municipal property tax request.

Across all property designations, the proposed property tax increase will be 5.58%.

Referencing the low tax rate increases over the past two years (average 0.8%), Hendricks told council, “The city is losing pace with significant inflationary impact the pandemic has had.” Thus the large increase this year.

Since the Aquatic Centre is back up and running at “full capacity,” the centre parcel tax is being re-instated to its pre-pandemic level of $205.67.

Hendrick noted the city also collects taxes for the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD).

He said the RDEK tax request is “four per cent higher” than in 2021. The KERHD tax request is 31.7% higher than last year. He also reported that the health tax request has “jumped 250%” since 2019. Hendricks added, “They’re playing a little catch-up. There weren’t any increases for a number of years to the hospital requisition.”

McCormick commended staff for keeping the tax increase as low as possible given everything that’s happened.

“We’ve managed to keep our spending on things we need to do, whole. Staff have done an awesome job of just tip toeing through the minefield on this thing. We remain in very, very solid shape with the projects we need to get done. This is a catch-up year.”

Council approved the new property tax rates. Tax bills arrive in June.

New Fire Truck

Council approved the purchase of a new fire truck from Fort Garry Fire Trucks Ltd. (Winnipeg) during an In-camera meeting on April 11.

The total cost of the new fire engine is $820,434.27 which is $7,778 over the initial cost estimate.

According to Fire Chief Rick Prasad, the fire engine is a “custom design” as it needs to be lower than a regular fire engine so that it will fit through the fire station doors.

Chief Prasad said the engine is a significant upgrade that comes with “modern safety equipment” such as airbags, anti-locking brakes, anti-collision avoidance technology, and active suspension “so the truck doesn’t roll.”

An onboard computer system runs and monitors the water pumps. Over-all, the new fire engine is built with “robust” firefighting equipment along with “many different improvements including better safety for the occupants.” he reiterated, “Fire trucks are all about safety.”

The Chief expects to receive the fire engine by the end of summer 2023.

Community Initiative Grants Allocated

Pam Walsh, Manager Community Development, presented council with the list of agencies chosen to receive grants from funds supplied by the Columbia Basin Trust.

The total amount of grant monies awarded this year, $100,408.82.

Walsh said that most non-profit applicants were able to attend a meeting with Council and make a short two-minute presentation about their funding request.

Highlighting there were two recipients that were award less than $10 each, Coun. Roberts suggested “we consolidate those two items” and award it to another non-profit. The funds were re-allocated to the East Kootenay Science Fair Society.

The top six largest grants went to:

Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society – $13,263.44;

Rotary Club of Kimberley – $12,467.33;

Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society  – $  6,833.33;

Spark Society for Youth   – $  5,696.30;

Kimberley Arts Council-Centre 64   – $  5,093.14;

Kimberley Trails Society  – $  5,085.97.

A complete list of grant recipients can be found on the city’s website.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. The next scheduled regular council meeting: May 9.

e-KNOW file photos


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