Cranbrook Kimberley Development Advisory Initiative moves along

Important to keep moving forward on important initiative, Mayor McCormick says

There has been another meeting of the Cranbrook Kimberley Development Initiative (CKDI) advisory committee to discuss the marketing plan.

“This whole initiative started out when we formed the Industrial Advisory Committee last spring,” said Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick. “But it quickly morphed into the CKDI.”

The advisory committee is made up of business people from both Kimberley and Cranbrook. The latest meeting, McCormick says, was to take a look at where they were in terms of supporting the initiative with marketing.

“We talked about the new website, brochures, what our messaging is, our target markets. It was a general discussion to provide direction on marketing,” he said.

CKDI is a joint venture on the part of Cranbrook and Kimberley to entice a new industrial tax base to the region. The idea is to sell the region, the stable labour force, the relative costs of doing business in the Cranbrook Kimberley area versus larger urban centres such as Vancouver or Calgary.

And it’s not an idea that we can afford to have die on the shelf, McCormick says, which is why there is a rush to get the marketing materials out there as quickly as possible.

“We can refine as we go,” he said. “As our marketing rolls out, it’s not just the region we want to sell. We need to sell our properties, our tax base, incentives we have in place.

“We have to get past the long view. It is the region and what it has to offer that entices them, but when you get into it, the company is buying a piece of property. The region is the attraction but we must be specific about what we have to offer.”

Part of what Kimberley has to offer has to be industrial land, which is why McCormick continues to push to get certificates of compliance from the Ministry of Environment for former industrial lands in Kimberley.

McCormick met with the Minister at the UBCM convention in September and there has been follow up contact, he says.

“Ministry staff have in fact been talking to Teck. Teck is interested in moving forward and aware of what our objectives are. As long as it’s moving forward, that’s what we want.”

McCormick says right now, Kimberley doesn’t have the industrial land available that Cranbrook does. So while Kimberley may get the spill off of new residents from a new industry, the business itself would likely have to locate in Cranbrook where industrial lands are available.

“This is really key for us. Without these lands we don’t have the ability to get our fair share of the industry we hope to attract with this CKDI initiative. We have to have those certificates of compliance.”