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Posted: November 30, 2022

Updates provided on Centre 64, bike park and Cominco Gardens

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

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

Councillors Sue Cairns, Kevin Dunnebacke, Woody Maguire , Jason McBain, Sandra Roberts and Steven Royer were present, along with Mayor Don McCormick.

A video archive of the meeting can be found on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel. Watch  it here.

Centre 64 Report

Kimberley Arts Council President Linda Douglas made a presentation to council regarding Centre 64’s strategic plan for the next three years.

The key element of their plan is the development of the parking lot space adjacent to the centre.

Douglas reported the board would like to build a permanent outdoor stage and a public park in that space. She said, “The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has agreed to fund 80% of the costs to develop the conceptual design and cost estimate.”

She informed council the Arts Board “hired Cover Architectural Collaborative from Nelson” to undertake the design and construction cost estimate.

Coun. Roberts asked about a “makers studio” that was once proposed for the site.

Douglas answered, “The makers studio is not a go.” She said that construction and operational costs were prohibitive noting “only so many resources available to us.”

Douglas also proposed the need for a new Cultural Plan noting the last one was done in 2009. She told council the arts group is looking forward to “working together and redoing a new cultural plan.”

Bike Park Revitalization

Athena Knibbs, board member of Kimberley Trail Society (KTS), presented council a plan to revitalize the bike park. She leads the new Bike Park Committee (BPC), now part to the KTS, which gives the BPC the ability to undertake “formal” fundraising.

Knibbs pointed out several areas of concern for the existing park that are due to “a lack of resources and organization, and over-all deterioration that has left the park with major safety concerns,” along with the added issues of insurance liability and accessibility.

The current design of the park poses problems for bike riders who could crash into one another due to the riding “lines” crossing one another. She pointed out there is no formal staging area for people to begin a safe ride through the park. Also, poor drainage causes debris to accumulate in the bike paths.

The BPC proposes to build a new bike park and paved pump track that would meet the needs of a wide range of users, remove safety concerns and become a part of the local “cycle tourism” amenities.

The BPC proposes a three-year phased plan that has a projected cost of $414,700.

Phase 1 would re-design and re-build the dirt tracks and jumps. Phase 2 would be the construction of an “all wheels” paved pump track. Phase 3 would enhance the green space around the park so that it “blends into the surrounding natural landscape.”

Sources of funding include $250,000 from Columbia Basin Trust, and a proposed City of Kimberley contribution of $100,000 over three years. The KTS – BPC would raise the remaining $68,840. Knibbs’ report estimated the yearly maintenance costs at ­+/- $6,000.

Early indications from CBT are that if the City of Kimberley commits funding, then “the CBT funding will move in a very positive direction.”

While council would not make a “commitment” at the meeting said Mayor McCormick, the city will continue discussions with the BPC.

Cominco Gardens

Council considered a proposal to submit an application to the B.C. Destination Development Fund that would see the rejuvenation of Cominco Gardens (pictured above).

Coun. Cairns began the discussion. “It’s great to see the attention to the revitalization and renewal of the Gardens as a community and tourism asset.” She added the gardens can be used for many purposes-tourism, heritage, horticulture, outdoor events, and healthy activities. She urged council to support an updated vision for the gardens that “would ideally guide any capital work going forward.”

Coun. Roberts said, “The crux of the matter” is that the hospital building has one floor vacant, which needs to be rented if the building and its current medical services are to remain in place. If the building is a priority and more tenants are on site, then where are people going to park. Coun. Roberts questioned whether there would be room for “a beautiful garden.”

Mayor McCormick pointed out, “This is a grant application, so no guarantees of getting the money.”

Referring to the future of the hospital building and gardens, “I think we can do both,” said Coun. McBain. He noted the Health Centre needs parking, and if the gardens are made into a tourist destination, then “parking is going to be a consideration.”

Council voted in favour of submitting an application to the B.C. Destination Development Fund program.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. The next and last regular council meeting for the year: December 12.

e-KNOW file photos


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