Park Place Lodge

Residents of the Fernie will benefit from upgrades to water and wastewater infrastructure thanks to joint funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Small Communities Fund and a tax contribution from the residents.

Over 300 residents attended the announcement at Fernie’s Rotary Park. Nearly 8 million dollars were awarded for needed infrastructure projects thanks to MLA Bennett, MP Wilks, Director Sosnowski, and Mayor Giuliano.

West Fernie politicians

A portion of the funding will be used to provide West Fernie residents and businesses with upgraded water and wastewater management systems. The work will include the rehabilitation of approximately 3.2 kilometres of potable water mains, including all valves, fittings, service connections, fire hydrants and water meters. Approximately 3.2 kilometres of sanitary sewer and 0.3 kilometres of the stormwater mains will be installed at the same time. This will include any related connections, catch basins and manholes, lift stations and pumps, ditching work and tie ins. When completed, the modernized, higher capacity water mains and the new wastewater management system will provide reliable services to the area for years to come.

In Fernie, the James White Well Development project will include the construction of a new source water well, including a pump house and the installation of approximately 433 metres of water line. Where the line crosses the Elk River, it will be installed seven metres below the deepest part of channel. The community historically faced challenges dealing with water turbidity from its primary river intake during spring thaw. When completed, the new well will provide the city with a secondary drinking water supply source, assuring a continued supply of clean, potable water throughout the year.

The projects announced today are among 55 recently approved in British Columbia that will collectively receive more than $128 million in joint federal-provincial funding under the Small Communities Fund. These projects represent important investments in municipal infrastructure that maintain safe, healthy communities. Once complete, the work will significantly improve key municipal services for residents and help boost regional development.

Through the Small Communities Fund, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are working in partnership to provide funding for priority public infrastructure projects that deliver on local needs in communities across the province that have fewer than 100,000 residents. These investments support job creation and economic growth, thus sustaining a high quality of life in small communities across British Columbia for years to come.

Quick Facts For the West Fernie Water System Project:
o The Government of Canada will provide up to $3,470,764 through the Small Communities Fund for the project.
o The Province of British Columbia will contribute up to $3,470,764 to this project.
o The Regional District of East Kootenay, through taxation of the residents, will be responsible for all remaining costs of the project.
o The total estimated cost for this project is $10,412,294.

Quick Facts For the James White Well Development Project:
o The Government of Canada will provide up to $826,258 through the Small Communities Fund for the project.
o The Province of British Columbia will contribute up to $826,258 to this project.
o The City of Fernie will be responsible for all remaining costs of the project.
o The total estimated cost for this project is $2,478,775.

Quotes

“We are proud to invest in projects like the West Fernie Water System and the James White Well in Fernie that will benefit our community by improving much needed local infrastructure. Our Government’s commitment to municipalities, big and small, has never been stronger. Through the New Building Canada Plan’s Small Communities Fund, we are investing in priority infrastructure projects that have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life of British Columbia’s residents while helping create jobs and economic growth.”
David Wilks
Member of Parliament for Kootenay — Columbia

The West Fernie water and sewer servicing has been a priority for me for over 10 years. Along with Area A Director Mike Sosnowski, Fernie Mayor Mary Guiliano and MP David Wilks, we have managed to finally get this project done. I believe Director Sosnowski in particular deserves special mention for his dogged pursuit of financial assistance over the years and for his leadership in bringing modern water and sewer infrastructure to the people of West Fernie.”
Bill Bennett
MLA, Kootenay East and Minister of Energy and Mines

“Today’s announcement is a pivotal moment in West Fernie’s history and it would not be possible without the determination and support of Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks and Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. Without their local knowledge about these projects and their commitment to their constituents here, this funding would not have happened. We are so grateful. I would also like to acknowledge the residents, community champions and RDEK Board and staff who have worked for years to see West Fernie serviced with sanitary and stormwater sewer in addition to an upgraded water system.”
Mike Sosnowski
RDEK Electoral Area A Director, Regional District of East Kootenay

“Mayor and Council and the City of Fernie express sincere gratitude to MP David Wilks and the Government of Canada and to our MLA Minister Bill Bennett and the Province of BC for each providing one third of the funding for the James White Well Project. The contribution will help the City to switch the supply during freshet and allow continued provision of safe and reliable drinking water to the community.”
Mary Giuliano
Mayor, City of Fernie

Associated Links
To learn more about the Small Communities Fund.

For additional information on the New Building Canada Plan.

To learn more about the Government of Canada’s focus on jobs and the economy consult Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Learn more about the Small Communities Fund at work in British Columbia

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