I have a lot of respect for our mayor and council. I appreciate their commitment and the work they do on behalf of the citizen’s of Kimberley. I do however, have concerns about one recent decision and in particular, the process that was followed.
Although within their mandate to do so, the decision to sell the two largest pieces of City owned recreationally zoned land; Bootleg Golf Course and Riverside Campground without public consultation and in-camera was, in my mind, inappropriate. It not only sets a bad precedent with regard to the future of other City owned recreational facilities, it allowed little or no opportunity for public discussion.
As the city’s population continues to grow it is important to maintain control of the recreational land within the city boundaries. Much of the open space in Kimberley is zoned residential such as Purcell Fields, Forest Crowne, the land bounding Trickle Creek and portions of Lois Creek. The Kimberley Nature Park and the Nordic Centre are Provincial Crown Land. Mark Creek and the Volksmarch Trail are either highway easement or owned by Teck.
It is in our long-term interest that Kimberley main it’s options for the future use of its recreational land. Maintaining ownership is more prudent than putting the future into the hands of others.
I encourage citizens to let Council know your thoughts on this matter. I’d also recommend attending the mayor’s brown bag lunch on November 13th when this will be on the agenda.
I would ask the City and Council to take a second look at these decisions until more public consultation has taken place.
I have learned that Kimberley city council has decided to offer for sale two of the largest public properties within the boundaries of the city, specifically Bootleg Golf Course and Riverside Campground. Upon looking at the zoning rules and bylaws, it allows the council to do so legally. Having said that I feel that the decision is short sighted and affects future generations of citizens in this community.
Once we lose control of these parcels and the income they generate we will be left with private interests running these facilities with only a profit motive in mind.
Although I understand the difficulties that council faces with funding infrastructure building and maintenance, I feel that this decision and the way it was handled was somewhat dubious at best. I strongly urge council to have an open and honest discussion the citizens of Kimberley. I also urge the citizens of Kimberley to voice their opinions with council as well on this matter.
Once this land is gone it’s gone forever!