The East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook recently underwent a $20 million intensive care unit expansion and electrical system upgrade. Underway is the construction of a new $5.6-million MRI.
Kimberley’s population grows by 11.6%
According to the 2016 Census, the population of the City of Kimberley has grown 11.6% since 2011 or nearly 800 people—from 6,652 to 7,425.
Nationally, the population rose 5%. Provincially, the population rose 5.6%. Within the East Kootenay region are several stand outs, including Fernie growing 18%, Invermere growing 14.8%, and nearby Cranbrook growing 3.6%.
Mayor Don McCormick says the growth is positive all around.
“When the population grows it means new revenue for the City, which takes pressure off existing tax payers,” he said. “It validates what we have been feeling. Downtown businesses are reporting good years, building permits are up, school populations are up. The census simply validates it.”
The mayor also said that seeing such growth validates the regional strategies the City of Kimberley has been pursuing, such as the Cranbrook-Kimberley Development Initiative.
Population is the single greatest indicator of long-term community health. Population growth creates demand for property and supports the value of property assessments that are the municipal tax base. It provides consumers for small businesses as well as social capital, such as volunteers who supports the fabric of the community.
When the mine closed in 2001 there were folks who thought this town might pack up. Growth since then has proven that the combination of people, natural resources, amenities and opportunities make Kimberley a good place to be.