An Open Letter To Mayor and Council of the City of Kimberley;
Re: Kimberley Riverside Campground being offered for sale by the City of Kimberley.
As patrons of this campground, we have heard rumors and have now received confirmation that the campground is to be placed on the market for sale. To say the least, we are shocked and concerned.
We discovered this gem of a campground, after our re-location from Manitoba 5 years ago and it has become our happy place. This past year we had the opportunity to be campground hosts and enjoyed meeting lots of people that share our love for this campground. We met families and others that have been coming to Kimberley Riverside Campground for 17 plus years. Many of the children have grown up spending their summers here, year after year. The campground is a very busy place in the summer.
I can’t say enough about the staff. They are top notch and go out of their way to make sure everyone’s Kimberley camping experience is first rate. I look at the Kimberley Riverside Campground and its staff as great ambassadors for the City of Kimberley, not as an asset with dollar signs attached.
The campground as I understand it is quite viable, it provides in excess of $100,000 a year into the coffers of the City of Kimberley. It hires and creates local employment for 15 people each year. The campground provides a competitively priced accommodation for visitors who in turn support Kimberley businesses and the tourism industry.
As a previous municipal councilor, I understand the delicate balance to keep taxes down, renew infrastructure, offset operational costs and meet the expectations of the electorate. Disposal of capital assets may look good in the short term, but as to the long-term effects no one can foresee.
In closing I would like to urge you as Mayor and Council, prior to signing off on any sale agreement, think about what this campground means to Kimberley and the visitors that frequent it. Is it possible to negotiate and mitigate some of the impact on those of us who have enjoyed the Kimberley Riverside Campground for so many years and those that may lose employment? What would be the impact be on tourism and local businesses?
One final thought. Apparently, during the last election, the question of selling the campground was posed to some of you and the answer was “No”.