Kimberley businesses will not have to pay for patio fees for at least one more year following a decision made by City Council Monday night.

In a letter to the City, Kimberley’s Chamber of Commerce requested a permanent cancellation of outdoor patio fees, saying several businesses took advantage and expanded their outside footprint.

“A clear example of the importance of outside seating is the fact that three businesses (The Shed, Pedal & Tap and Overtime Brewery) are all running outside seating options during the 2020 / 2021 Winter to increase their revenue.”

The Chamber said in its letter that the permanent removal of patio fees will encourage more businesses to expand to the outdoors, which will provide more space amid the pandemic and add to the community’s business districts.

After some discussion, Kimberley’s City Council decided against the full removal for the time being, but rather opted to waive patio fees for another year.

“We’re going to get another year’s worth of experience this summer, then review it all and see what is in the best interest of both our business community and the City of Kimberley,” said Mayor Don McCormick.

Kimberley typically brought in about $2,500 and $3,000 a year from collecting patio fees before they were waived.

“It’s a relatively small amount from the collective,” said McCormick. “On average, the fees are probably in the neighbourhood of $200 to $350 a year for a typical sized patio.”