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Posted: October 16, 2020

PCI receives council approval

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On September 28, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present. Mayor Don McCormick was absent. Coun. Jason McBain chaired the meeting as Acting Mayor.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the press and public were not allowed in Council Chambers. The meeting streamed live on the City’s YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.

Purcell Collegiate Public Meeting

Troy Pollack, Manager Planning Services, summarized the project for council.

Purcell Collegiate International (PCI) sought a zoning change for land in Marysville to allow for a boarding school campus. This would include a range of buildings from classrooms to sports facilities and accommodations.

The city scheduled the public meeting to gather final input into the proposed zoning changes before making a decision.

Acting Mayor McBain called for oral submissions three times. There were only three comments. The first two were from the PCI proponents Duncan McLeod and George Barry, via phone link. They indicated that Pollack’s summary of the project was accurate and had nothing further to add.

Kimberley resident, Mr. Gerrad Thompson called in and said, “I’m really in favour of this project. I’m excited for the amenities and the programs that it can bring to the students of Selkirk school.”

When asked, Pollack noted the city had not received any letters of objection, adding, “Pretty rare we have all letters of support.”

Pollack congratulated PCI for their level of community engagement. “I commend the proponents on the work they’ve put in communicating with, not just the neighbouring properties, but also other community members. They’ve done a good job of informing and involving the community in their plans.”

Pollack wrapped his comments by noting “MOTI support the bylaw,” but will require a traffic impact study. It would be submitted at the development permit stage.

Later in the meeting, Council voted unanimously to adopt the bylaw allowing PCI to move forward with the school project.

Sgt. Newel presents his final Kimberley RCMP Report

Sgt. Chris Newel

Attending in person, Sgt. Chris Newel made his last presentation before retiring from the RCMP on November 4.

Newel started the presentation with road safety. “The biggest calls for service is always Highway 95A” between Kimberley and Cranbrook. During the last three months, the local detachment made “116 traffic contacts” and removed twenty impaired drives. Traffic statistics are “back to normal” following a COVID drop during the previous quarter.

In summarizing the Crime Reduction Unit’s activity, Newel said it’s important for the Kimberley Detachment to provide one officer to the unit because crime in Cranbrook has “connections” with Kimberley. He highlighted three cases with local impact. First, the armed robbery at the Esso station in July. The suspect in the case was found to reside in Radium. With a search warrant, the suspect was arrested and a shotgun removed from the premises. The Cranbrook subjects in a large organized drug bust July 4, where 50 ounces of Fentanyl-laced cocaine was seized, had connections to Kimberley. And finally, a stolen Cranbrook truck ended up in Kimberley.

In wrapping his comments, Sgt. Newel said, “I have enjoyed my tenure here and will remain in Kimberley for many years to come.”

The in-coming new detachment commander should arrive around the end of November or early December. “He’s excited to be coming here,” Newel said without providing a name.

Acting Mayor McBain said, “Thank you for your service. We all appreciate your service to the city and community.” Then smiled, concluding, “Glad I didn’t get to know you when I was a youth.”

At that, council struck up a round of applause.

Building permits solid despite pandemic

Council received the third quarter (July to September) building permit report.

Despite a sharp downturn in new single-family homes, only four permits issued in Q3 compared to 11 last year, renovations to existing homes (32) are well ahead of 2019 (21). In Q3, the city saw 81 total permits issued with a total project value of almost $5M. This is a substantial 64% drop compared to 2019. However, last year’s numbers included the Save-On Foods construction project.

Commenting on the report, Troy Pollack, Manager Planning Services, said, “We’re having quite a busy year again. A little bit behind the previous year, but well ahead of 2016 through 2018 levels.”

Year-to-date, building permits number 173 compared to 2019’s 181. Total value of permits issued, $14.5M compared to last year’s record of $27M.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. At this time, the public is not allowed to attend in person.

The next scheduled Council meeting:  October 26. It will live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.

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