Kimberley Year in Review, part IV

A look back at the last three months of 2016 in Kimberley

Labour difficulties

Labour difficulties

October

Kimberley and Cranbrook both began the process of creating bylaws allowing for integrated business licenses for businesses the work in both communities. The move was designed to reduce red tape and costs for contractors and other businesses that move back and forth between the two communities.

SD6 held a public meeting in Kimberley on October 6 to gain input from parents on potential plans to change the configuration of Kimberley’s elementary schools to three K to 7 schools, as suggested in the Long Term Facility Plan. This would eliminate the current middle school at McKim. Parents were not all on board with the idea, raising concerns about the quickness of the plan going ahead in the next school year, as well as being concerned about what they felt was a general lack of information. Superintendent Paul Carriere said that there was plenty of input to consider after the meeting.

The Gerry Sorensen repaving wound up in October on budget, meaning there would be no cost to the tax payers of Kimberley for the $4.5 million project, as it was completely funded by a grant.

Kimberley Council was approached by both the Nordic Club and the Soccer Association for assistance. For the Nordic Club the assistance came in the form of letters of support and help with grant writing, as the club applies for grants to upgrade the Nordic Club in order to hold races. The Soccer Association was looking for just over $25,000 in cash to help them bring the washroom building at Purcell Park to the lockup stage before the winter. Council approved both requests.

A Cranbrook dog died after eating an unknown substance in the Community Forest. Two other dogs were confirmed by police to have died as well. Police did not rule out that someone was deliberately poisoning the dogs and urged owners to be cautious when walking their pets.

Kootenay Savings Credit Union issued a one-day lockout notice to its union employees for Friday, October 21. This move came shortly after the Steelworkers Local issued a 72 hour strike notice. Workers did indeed hit the picket line that Friday and would remain out for a month.

After NDP candidate Gerry Taft’s opponent in the runoff to represent Columbia River Revelstoke in the next election questioned how he could be eligible under the Party’s rules which require that candidates who replace retiring MLAs represent a group seeking equity, Taft said he identified as bisexual.

Kimberley was under a boil water notice for almost a week at the end of October due to a slough in the Mark Creek watershed.

A newly formed company, Kootenay Zinc Corp., announced they would be continuing the search for a Sullivan Mine type SEDEX deposit at a claim near Fort Steele. Drill results from the previous year were encouraging enough, company officials said, to prompt new capital and a renewed drill program.

November

The Military Ames group, who were spearheading the building of a new cenotaph and memorial park for Kimberley, were dismayed to discover someone had vandalized the newly poured cement for the monument base. The group vowed they would continue work on the cenotaph, scheduled for installation in 2017.

The Grand Slam of Curling came to Cranbrook, along with elite teams from around the world, the second week of November. Kimberley residents got a chance to get an even closer look at the curling stars when many of the biggest names came to Kimberley the following week to contest the Wall Grain Mixed Doubles championship.

In November, SD6 announced that would be no change to Kimberley school configuration — at least not in the 2017-2018 school year. Superintendent Paul Carriere announced, that after receiving input from parents, it was decided to seek more information on what would work best before making any decisions.

Kimberley City Council granted business licenses to two more medical marijuana dispensaries, one for the Platzl and one for Howard Street. Mayor Don McCormick voted against it, saying caution was required.

A draw for a new car for For McMurray relief was halted by the RCMP as fraud was suspected. It was discovered that the person organizing the draw did not have the proper licensing.

Picket lines were down at the end of the month as Kootenay Savings and United Steelworkers Local 1-405 reached an agreement, which included movement on pension language, which was the source of much of the contract dispute.

The Kimberley Lions Club and Project Society was delighted to learn it had scored government funding for affordable housing on Church Street. The project will fund renovating of eight units already owned by the Lions, but not occupied.

The Kimberley Fire Department responded to a fire at the former Mozart House Restaurant in the Platzl. Police later said the fire was suspicious in nature.

December

The Ktunaxa Nation got their day in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, arguing against the Jumbo development. They asked the court to reaffirm the right of First Nations to exercise spiritual practices that are dependent on sacred sites, one of them being the Jumbo Valley where the Ktunaxa believe the grizzly bear spirit resides.

A trio from the secretive Mormon community of Bountiful were in Cranbrook court in December facing charges of child trafficking. While no verdict was reached at year’s end, the trial did gain a look into the community. The court was told a culture of distrust and blind obedience enabled the marriage of two underage children.

In something of an oddity in  a year of labour strife, union employees at Kimberley Alpine Resort ratified a new three year deal. Negotiations, according to the Steelworkers’ Jeff Bromley, were smooth.

Kimberley’s annual deer count showed numbers up considerable in 2016, with 147 deer counted, up from 96 the previous year. The Managing for the Future document, which guides the city on urban deer issues, had set a maximum threshold of 125 deer. The deer committee is expected to bring a recommendation to Council early in the new year.

Mayor Don McCormick said the city was interested in selling both the conference centre and the SunMine in accordance with the City’s asset management strategy.

Utility rates in Kimberley were set to rise to $842 per year, as the city continues with their goal of making the water and sewer funds sustainable.