While at the UBCM last month, Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick and Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt had a couple of meetings around the Cranbrook Kimberley Development Initiative.
The met with the Minister of International Trade and the Major Investment Office with the goal of making sure that the Cranbrook Kimberley area are on the list for consideration when big investors come into the province.
“We want to be on the list that investors look at, so they’ll know it’s not just about the Lower Mainland,” McCormick. “When investment comes in these companies are ready. What they are looking for is land availability.”
That’s where Kimberley runs into a bit of a snag. While Cranbrook has plenty of available land for industrial development, Kimberley does not.
“At this point in time we have virtually no land,” McCormick said. “As we go through and update the OCP (Official Community Plan) industrial land availability is a key consideration.”
McCormick says the city is in discussion with Teck on the possibility of making more land available, for instance the land on the east side of Jim Ogilvie Way.
“There are some issues with the environmental certificate but that’s not necessarily an impediment. The long term vision for those lands is an industrial park.”
McCormick says that there are also the benchlands above Marysville and if it’s not reasonable for residential development, then it’s possible the land could be used for industrial.
“That’s about 50 acres,” he said.
“The key is to tie in with the SunMine,” he said. “When it expands with more MegaWatts, being able to power an industrial park with the SunMine becomes interesting.”
The City is actively seeking partners to expand the SunMine.
“It really promotes us as a progressive community. There are lots of companies out there who want clean power.
“But first Kimberley has to solve the land availability problem. Our goal is an industrial tax base.”