RCMP detachment commander retiring
By Nowell Berg
On July 13, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.
Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Jason McBain, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick. Coun. Nigel Kitto was absent.
This was the first meeting to take place in City Hall since March. The Mayor and four councillors were present. Coun. McBain attended via video link. No members of the public were in physical attendance.
The meeting streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel. You can watch the archive here.
RCMP Detachment commander retiring
“This period was quite affected by COVID-19. A lot of statistics for pro-active police work such as foot patrols, school visits and checking on bars are definitely down,” she said.
With summer months here, Cpl. Bamber said officers were getting back to foot patrols. “I was in the Platzl today, there were a lot of people in there. It was nice to see,” she said.
The big news from the report was the verbal mention that current detachment commander Sgt. Chris Newel is intending to retire this coming November. In wrapping up the report, Cpl. Bamber was surprised there was no questions on his retirement. “I thought someone would have.”
Mayor McCormick asked, “What is the betting line on who will replace him?”
Cpl. Bamber said the RCMP SE District office will conduct a human resource search across B.C. and possibly Canada to find a replacement. She will assume the Acting Commander title if no replacement is found by the time Newel steps down.
“I’m pretty confident Sgt. Newel is tuned into YouTube for this tonight, so Chris we’re gonna miss you, but we have a lot of time between now and November to say a long goodbye,” said Mayor McCormick.
After the meeting Mayor McCormick issued this statement. “Chris has been a constant with the local detachment and a fixture in our community for a long time – he is a great community advocate. Fortunately, he and Donna are not going anywhere! “
Building Permits Surprise
Council received the building permit report. In the first half of the year, 92 building permits have been issued compared to 102 in 2019. The total value of these projects is just over $9.5 million with the fees collected adding up to $96,465.00.
Since January, 21 permits were issued for single-family home renovations, 10 permits for new home construction, 15 sign permits, 12 for garages and six permits for commercial renovations.
Commenting on the report, Coun. Roberts said, “It’s better than I expected it would be. I kinda thought we might see some slow down with the whole COVID thing, but it’s actually looking pretty good.”
Mayor McCormick followed up by pointing out the single-family renovations were only two-thirds of last year’s numbers (to date). “When you consider COVID, renovations are the kinds of things that get put on the back burner.” He noted that major construction projects in town are moving ahead as scheduled.
New home construction remains robust.
According to Troy Pollock, Manager Planning Services, “Construction locally has continued very strongly over the past few months.” He added the expectation is for it to continue through the summer.
Coun. Oakley predicted that after the pandemic passes and a vaccine is found, “there will be pent up demand in the years to come.”
The Mayor is “optimistic” the value of building permits could reach last year’s level of $32 million. “Things are way more positive than we thought they might be.”
Pollock suggested the city would not “surpass” the 2019 total, but the current $10 million value in building permits equaled the yearly totals for 2017 and 2018. “I think we’re going to be busy during the summer and fall months. There’s lots in the pipeline.”
Responding to the discussion, Coun. Goodwin reiterated his standing point on the limits to growth for the city. “There are constraints on how big Kimberley can get in the framework of the nature resources around us. We should move ahead with a water availability study for the City of Kimberley. I have no real interest in seeing Kimberley become another Canmore or Kelowna.”
Animal Control and Bylaw Enforcement
Over the past month, the Bylaw Enforcement Officer (BEO) reported three bear encounters. In one, a bear was able to gain access to a home through a dog door. A bear was sited feeding on a deer carcass in Forest Crowne and a bear was spotted in the Nature Park.
The other animal issues deal with dogs and cats off-leash and running at large. The BEO points out that “Rails-to-Trails is a strictly on leash area.” (BEO’s emphasis) All users of the trail need to respect each other and keep dogs on a leash.
With City Hall now open to the public, the BEO reminds dog owners to “renew” 2020 dog tags. If a dog is found to have an expired license, the fine is $100.
In terms of bylaw infractions, the BEO investigated 21 properties for allowing noxious and invasive weeds to proliferate
The other big issue for the BEO is “improperly stored garbage.” The BEO reports that two bears were “destroyed” in the past month. The report adds, “Storing garbage outside in City of Kimberley issued bins is not permitted. Garbage must be stored in a secure area.”
Kimberley City Council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m.
The next scheduled Council meeting: August 17. The meeting can be live streamed on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.
Lead image: Sgt. Chris Newel at the closing ceremonies of the 55+ BC Games on Sept. 15, 2018 at Kimberley Alpine Resort. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photo