As presented at an open house this past June, Kimberley City Council and staff are planning a major overhaul of the downtown area.
It will include replacing aging infrastructure, and improving the storm sewer system, roads, wastewater and streetscapes. Traffic patterns are going to change. Howard Street will become a one-way eastbound, with parallel and angle parking to allow for market stalls, and wider sidewalks.
The intersection near City Hall, where Spokane Street merges with St. Mary Avenue will change, making St. Mary a one way eastbound, with additional parking added at the end.
The plan includes a number of changes on Ross Street to Gerry Sorensen Way, that will result in Ross Street running through where the current Platzl parking lot sits, eliminating the problematic S curve at the far end of the Platzl, and allowing traffic access to the rear of Platzl businesses.
More greenspace is planned along the creek. The plan also includes the daylighting of Kimberley Creek from the Morrison Sub to Mark Creek.
This is a multi -million dollar project which is currently scheduled to begin in 2021. The City has applied for a grant of $6 million under the Strategic Priorities Fund.
Although it is several years out, it is part of the capital budget being prepared for next year’s financial plan. The financial plan always includes at least five years of planned spending and revenue.
Last week at a Committee of the Whole meeting, Chief Financial Officer Jim Hendrick presented the planned schedule for the downtown project.
The current schedule will see Boundary Street, Kimberley Avenue and Howard Street work on roads, streetscape, storm, water and sewer done in 2021.
In 2022, the Wallenger Avenue work will be done, along with creek daylighting. And in 2023, the Ross Street realignment will take place. The total cost of the project is $9.7 million.
If the grant application is not successful, or if an amount less than the full $6 million is received, the scope of the Downtown Project will be modified to reflect available funding.
“It is a phased project,” said city CAO Scott Sommerville. “We have applied for funding for the phase and are waiting to hear back. If we received funding for phase one and two, we’d be happy with that.”
The daylighting of Kimberley Creek is an important component of the work, in order to mitigate flooding problems in the Morrison Sub. Sommerville says the City has applied for three different grants for that work.