After what City of Kimberley CAO Scott Sommerville called a “whirlwind consultation process”, the projects to be funded under the Resort Municipality Initiative have been prioritized.
As one of the 14 resort municipalities in the province, Kimberley will receive funds which must be spent to support tourism development and a long-term vision for tourism in Kimberley.
It in anticipated that the city will receive $170,000 in year 1 and $125 in each of the next two years.
With the continuation of the program only announced on March 25 and a draft plan to be submitted to the the Ministry by April 30, there were only 15 working days for consultation.
Stakeholders who were consulted were Tourism Kimberley, the Kimberley Chamber and KAR. Residents were also asked for ideas on engagekimberley.ca and Sommerville says there were some ideas submitted.
The primary tourism project proposed is a permanent outdoor bandstand. The location has not been chosen yet, but Coronation Park will get strong consideration.
There are several portable stages available in the region but maintaining and setting them up can be problematic. The wooden stages that the City has utilized need to be rebuilt every few years due to wear and tear and storage out of doors.
Other projects under consideration include a portable LED lighting tower, which would primarily be used for ski events, but could also be brought downtown for outdoor events.
Under the tourism services category, it is proposed that the City continue on with funding a portion of the Peak to Platzl Winter Shuttle. A proposal from the Kimberley Chamber was to create a Google Virtual 360 Tour of the Platzl, Marysville, and tourism amenities.
Proposed under the program administration category are a portion of salaries supporting the management of the RMI funds and annual reporting, a travel stipend to attend the Resort Communities’ Collaborative meetings, and funds to conduct performance measurement required for the RMI program.
Under the downtown beautification category, suggestions included white globe ground lighting and white tree lights, new doggy-bag dispensers, and long-lasting painting of the rainbow Platzl crosswalk. Under the event attraction category, more LED lighting towers can be purchased. Under the wayfinding signage category, more trailhead and parking signage will be placed throughout the City.
Another suggestions was improving access to the St. Mary River for kayaks and rafters. River access is a complex issue, noted Mayor Don McCormick, but planting the seed of an idea now means it could be considered when the new waste water treatment plant is built in that area.