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Posted: July 26, 2018

Major spike in impaired drivers in city

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On July 23, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

Councillors Kent Goodwin, Albert Hoglund, Nigel Kitto, Bev Middlebrook, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick.

Record number of impaired drivers

Sgt. Chris Newel

In making his second quarter (April, May, June) report to council, Sgt. Chris Newel said Kimberley RCMP Detachment officers had pulled 37 impaired drivers off the road, which was “more than the whole of 2017 (35).”

Newel said Kimberley Officers are committed and pro-active in improving road safety. “We’ve done very well with our traffic enforcement over the last quarter. We have pretty good members who are out on the road actively pursuing impaired drivers,” he added.

In June, three speed watches were set up in three different locations with over 1,600 vehicles passing through. Fully 162 traffic incidents or suspensions were recorded for Q2.

The Crime Reduction Unit is “really rolling now,” Newel said.

As for JulyFest, “Over-all the organizers and everybody did an amazing job. We had a lot of people in town with the potential for all kinds of things to go on…but I was very pleased with the over-all outcome,” he said.

Bylaw Report

Council received the Animal Control and Bylaw Enforcement report.

During June, the largest issue was ‘protective deer and fawn’ where 13 such incidents were reported. Ten ‘Deer and Fawn in Area’ signs were place around town to warn residents.

The report also notes, “Animal Control received complaints of a ferret attempting to enter a house. A crow in a kitchen and four baby skunks wandering on Knighton Blvd.”

In terms of bylaw infractions, “unattached and recreational trailers” being left on city streets attracted 12 complaints. Residents need to be aware that “leaving unattached trailers” on city streets violates the Street and Traffic Bylaw.

Further, eight residents were contacted about not following water restriction guidelines.

Current water restrictions are at Stage 1, which means watering of lawns at residential locations is done on a rotating basis.

Kimberley residents should follow this timetable:

A) Even numbered addresses water lawns on even numbered calendar days from 4 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.

B) Odd numbered addresses water lawns on odd numbered days from 4 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.

Mr. Mayor Goes to China

Mayor Don McCormick

City council received a formal request to have Mayor McCormick participate in an investor promotion tour to China in October.

Purcell International Education (PIE) sent a letter to the city asking that Mayor McCormick’s participate, all expenses paid by PIE, in a funding procurement trip to Hong Kong and China. The trip is designed to raise $50 million from investors for the purchase of land and construction of an education campus.

The Mayor has been working with the PIE group for some months to facilitate the building of an independent school in Kimberley. Mayor McCormick said, “The proponents have been bringing international students here for a number of years now. They know their business, they know it very well.”

He added, PIE wants him “to make presentations to the investor group about Kimberley and what a wise investment it would be to build here.”

This school would potentially accommodate 450 students on a 50-acre campus with one-third of the students coming from China, another third from other international locations, particularly Europe, and the last third from around North America.

In a letter to council, Duncan MacLeod, PIE President, said Mayor McCormick’s participation was “vital to confirming the practical benefits of a Kimberley-based school.”

MacLeod’s letter states that international education generates $2 billion in revenue for B.C. each year, mostly in the Lower Mainland. He goes on to say, the “benefits of locating a school in Kimberley include but not limited to its English-immersion environment, access to recreation opportunities and amenities, community life including personal safety/security versus a larger city, weather (sunshine hours, temperatures, etc.) and proven popularity with international students.”

The PIE letter estimates direct and non-direct economic spin-offs could reach $30 million per year.

According to the city staff report presented to council, “The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recommended, considering that the trip could lead to significant investments and benefits for the City of Kimberley and is not for Mayor McCormick’s personal benefit, that endorsement from council be obtained for the trip.”

Council voted unanimously to allow Mayor McCormick to participate in the trip. He will travel from Oct. 5 to the 12.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly. All meetings start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for August 13.

Lead image: Kimberley RCMP conducting a checkstop earlier this year. Sgt. Chris Newel photo

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