2019 was a busy year for construction in Kimberley, with the City of Kimberley’s Building Department reporting over $32 million in construction values.
241 permits were given out by the City in the year of 2019, 83 of which were dwellings. There were 75 permits for renovations to single family dwellings, 31 new builds, and 28 accessory buildings (garages or carports).
The fourth quarter Building Report for 2019 was discussed at a Regular Council Meeting on Monday.
Mayor Don McCormick says that 2019 was the busiest year since the resort was built out at the ski hill in the 2000’s.
He adds that single family homes aren’t the only driving factors in construction values in town, it’s a broad base including industrial, commercial, multi-units and renovations.
“I think what that shows is a high confidence in the community and that people are investing in the community,” said McCormick. “People want to live in Kimberley and it’s a really positive thing. New people means new volunteers for the non-profit, new businesses, and substantially more taxes to the City of Kimberley.”
Permits for accessory dwellings picked up in 2019 as well. Council approved a bylaw at a regular meeting on Monday that sees a 50 per cent decrease in water rates for secondary dwellings in an effort to make renting more affordable.
McCormick adds that Kimberley has a 60 square kilometre footprint (compared to 31 square kilometres in Cranbrook).
“The massive footprint puts pressure on all of the infrastructure; water, sewer, roads, and so new construction is a very good thing,” McCormick said.
Looking ahead, 2020 may not bring the same construction values that 2019 did, but it may be a year to determine how Kimberley can continue to grow.
McCormick says the challenge now lies in determining what level of ongoing investment is realistic for the community.
Kimberley isn’t the only community in the Kootenays that continues to grow. McCormick, who sits on the board for the Regional District of East Kootenay, says that constriction values are increasing in the Kootenays across the board.
“The building permits in 2019 really set a high for many communities in the East and West Kootenays. The Kootenays are becoming a much more dynamic place to live and work,” said McCormick. “It’s a very positive environment right now. The degree of regional cooperation and engagement has never been higher and all of the individual communities are benefiting.”