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Posted: November 10, 2020

Three vicious dog attacks under investigation

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On November 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.

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.

Off-leash dogs, bears and garbage

The Animal Control and Bylaw Enforcement report submitted to council highlighted two trends.

First, the continued issue of pet owners allowing dogs to roam off-leash. Three vicious dog attacks are currently under investigation. The report indicates the attacks were “a direct result of people having at large and uncontrolled animals.” A further eight dogs off-leash were reported.

Residents are reminded that a first offence for a dog off-leash is $75, which doubles for a second offence.

Coun. Oakley asked if “the trend [in bylaw complaints] seems to be getting busier and busier.”

Corporate Officer Maryse Leroux said, “It’s definitely busier than it used to be. We’ve seen a trend since the start of COVID, a lot more complaints.” Leroux indicated the “biggest increase” was around aggressive and vicious dog attacks.

She also reported that “parking tickets” were down due to increased enforcement which has made residents aware they will get ticketed for illegal parking.

The BEO report also noted 16 garbage infractions which lead to increase altercations with bears.

Coun. Kitto commented, “If people were following the rules we wouldn’t be having this many negative interactions with bears.”

“It’s a matter of paying some attention and showing some respect for the neighbours and for the environment we live in. The vast majority of residents are following the rules which we really appreciate,” said Mayor McCormick.

Jack Ratcliffe Commitment to Community Award

The city created a community award in honour of Jack Ratcliffe. Now 92, he spent 29 years on council, as well as over three decades volunteering across a wide range of agencies and organizations in Kimberley.

The Jack Ratcliffe Commitment to Community Award will, annually, be “handed out to an individual or individuals in the community deemed to be worthy of this community commitment award,” said Mayor McCormick. Ratcliffe was on hand in council chambers to receive the first award (pictured above).

After receiving the award, Ratcliffe said, “Thank you for honouring me with this award, particularly in the naming [of the ward] and carrying [it] into the future.” He went on say an important thing about volunteering was the chance to meet and “work with” a wide range of people. In particular, he noted the 36 years he spent on the Library Board.

In summing up, Ratcliffe praised his wife Rose for “running the homestead” which she did with “very little complaint.” He “saluted” her for that contribution to their 68 years of marriage.

Mayor McCormick said, “I can’t tell you enough how much the community appreciates your service. It’s just an awesome legacy you are leaving the community.”

The award will carry a $500 gift that will be donated to the recipients charity of choice.

WildSafeBC Annual Report

Danika Roussy, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator, presented her annual report to council covering activities from May to September, 2020.

Roussy noted that through a range of activities from webinar’s and door hangers to in-person presentations, almost 3000 people were contacted about how to reduce wildlife and human interactions.

During this past summer, Roussy reported there were 81 deer reports, down 19 from 2019.  There were 77 black bear reports which is substantially lower than 2019 (112) and nine grizzly bear reports, down 10 from last year.

In responding to the garbage issue, she said that one repeat offender had “issues beyond” just simply putting out garbage bins the night before.

Roussy’s report said there were “19 repeat offenders” who continually disregard the regulation on keep garbage secured until the morning of collection day.

Coun. McBain asked Roussy if there had been “increased raccoon activity?”

“Yes, they are tricky little buggers aren’t they?” she said. Her suggestions to avoid unwanted raccoon visits would be to “keep pet food in-doors and secure pet doors at night, and never feed raccoon’s.” Along with any wildlife.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the public is not allowed to attend in person.

The next scheduled council meeting:  November 23. It live streams on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.

Lead image: Jack Ratcliffe addresses council last night (Nov. 9) after being presented the first Jack Ratcliffe Commitment to Community Award by Mayor Don McCormick, seated back left. City of Kimberley image


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