As 2019 draws to a close, Kimberley’s Mayor feels at though it was a momentous year for the community in terms of its growth and identity.
Over the year, Kimberley saw large amounts of investment, bringing in over $30 million in building permits, while its population has been on the rise.
“we’re now over 8,000 people, and continue to be – since 2011 – one of the top 10 growth communities in British Columbia. Along with that comes investment in the community, and our building permits this year are indicative of that growth,” said Don McCormick, Kimberley’s Mayor. “We haven’t seen that kind of number since the resort was being built back in 2006 and ’07. It really indicates confidence in the community.”
McCormick added that the city will work to maintain a sustainable growth rate in the future.
“After having a $30 million-plus building permit year, the question is: is that sustainable, or what is a sustainable amount of growth that is acceptable to the community? At the City, our job is to make sure that we have policies and bylaws in place to create an environment for investment,” explained Mayor McCormick.
MORE: Kimberley’s Quarterly Economic Report Shows Positive Trend (October 30, 2019)
McCormick said that over the year, the city has worked to reduce its infrastructure deficit as well as provided upgrades to the City’s fleet.
Kimberley, according to McCormick, has begun to adopt a new identity for itself, away from being known as the mining community it used to be.
“The transition from a mining town to where we are today has not been an easy thing to do, but it has been almost 20 years, and over that 20 years, we’ve made great progress in reinventing ourselves as a lifestyle community,” McCormick to MyEastKootenayNow.com. “It’s the type of community that attracts young families, and we’re hoping to keep that momentum going.”
McCormick added that he feels optimistic about the changing identity that Kimberley has portrayed.
“2019 was the year that we quit talking about the closure of the mine, and we moved forward with a new direction that the community is going in.”
McCormick added that while the transition might not be easy, but he is thankful for the community’s participation.
“Change is not an easy thing to do, and with any community undergoing change, the residents are going to be subjected to a fair amount of challenge, the 4th avenue project last summer was a good example,” McCormick concluded. “Myself, Council and all of City staff are really appreciative of the patience our residents have shown as we get these projects done.”
Moving into 2020, some important projects in Kimberley will include further development of the planned international boarding school, selling assets to reduce its infrastructure deficit and construction of its wastewater facility.
MORE: Funding Increased for Kimberley’s 4th Avenue Project (July 31, 2019)
MORE: Planned Kimberley Private School Educates Public on its Progress (December 6, 2019)