This past Thursday the City of Kimberley announced that they would be selling two city assets — Bootleg Gap Golf Course and the Riverside Campground.
This prompted immediate concern in local residents about what the future of the two properties would be, once sold.
Mayor Don McCormick wants to reassure residents that there will be terms to any sale.
“To be absolutely clear, the Riverside Campground will remain a campground,” he said. “There may be a change in ownership, and if so, I expect that the new owners will invest in that asset with new ideas to make it even better than it is today.
“The City is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) that spells out the expected terms of the sale – including a requirement to keep it a campground. The RFP will be asking for details on why the proponent is purchasing, their experience with campgrounds and what the plans are going forward. The City has tools at its disposal to ensure this is the case. In any event, we will not accept a proposal unless it is in the best interest of the community.”
He also says that running businesses is not the role of a municipality.
“The Campground and the golf course are businesses,” he said. “And they are non-core to the municipal business that is the City of Kimberley. They are profitable businesses today, thanks to the skilled management of KCDS and the Bootleg Golf Society who manage these businesses. It is because of this that they have strong market value. You cannot sell a business that is losing money.”
“Kimberley is having a strong year, thanks to the investment that is happening in the community. However, we are still grappling with a massive infrastructure deficit – in the area of 60 plus million dollars. The pressure to replace the sewage plant has not gone away – the City’s share of which will be in the $10 million neighborhood. With snow clearing season coming up, our aging fleet is struggling to keep up with resident service level expectations. And the list goes on. Without new money, there are serious tax implications to these needs.
“It is also important to note that money in the reserves gives us flexibility to leverage grant opportunities or to respond to emerging issues.
More information on the sales will be coming, he says.
“Council believes it important to keep residents informed and will continue to do so as this process moves forward.”