Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt and Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick speaking at a business even last January. Bulletin file.

Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt and Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick speaking at a business even last January. Bulletin file.

Cranbrook Kimberley Development Initiative wrapping up

While the Cranbrook Kimberley Development Initiative is wrapping up, all involved have deemed it a huge success.

In a press release issued this week the CKDI board announced that many of the goals of the initiative had been met and it was time to move forward into continuing to forge a close relationship between the two communities.

The CKDI was initially formed in 2015 as a joint venture on the part of Cranbrook and Kimberley to entice a new industrial tax base to the region. The idea was to sell the region, the stable labour force, the relative costs of doing business in the Cranbrook Kimberley area versus larger urban centres such as Vancouver or Calgary.

READ: Cranbrook Kimberley Development Advisory Committee moves along

READ: Cranbrook Kimberley mayors discuss local issues

The initiative got off the ground with 45 area businesses investing $5,000 each to support the program.

Support was also provided by Columbia Basin Trust, City of Cranbrook, City of Kimberley and the Regional District of East Kootenay. Unused funds will be returned to investors on a pro-rata basis.

Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt and Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick are pleased to report that the Cranbrook-Kimberley Development Initiative (CKDI) was a very successful venture. Established as a marketing initiative, CKDI’s goals included creating a single identity for the Cranbrook-Kimberley corridor and to communicate to the outside world that the two communities are closely aligned and working together as a region.

“Our communities are very synergistic. Together, we’re stronger,” McCormick said. “The initiative is wrapping up but the relationship is moving forward. Now we’ll figure out what the next step is.”

With approximately 4,000 cars moving between the 2 cities daily, a new commuter transit services in place, and more than 100 mobile business licenses in place for businesses that operate in both locations, the initiative has made an impact. Mayors Pratt and McCormick also point to record investment in both communities in 2018 and 2019. The value of combined building permits for 2019 is expected to be $70M – $30M in Kimberley and $45M in Cranbrook. This includes new light industrial development not seen in this area for some time.

Economic Development Managers are also in place in both communities and the Mayors are now discussing what the next phase of their regional development strategy will look like. CKDI Board of Directors will continue to provide transition funds for the next year to keep the CKDI on-line presence current.

The CKDI Board of Directors thanks all those who participated in this very worthwhile initiative. They also thank Mayor McCormick and Mayor Pratt for their commitment and dedication to making this marketing initiative a huge success.

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