The City of Fernie has been busy with many projects including updates of the Subdivision and Development Servicing and Zoning bylaws.

Fernie council with foriegn students

A new playground was built for our Ridgemont Park and a grand opening held.

Council lobbied nine years for a crossing light system on Highway 3 and 9th street that was finally agreed to by Ministry of Highways.

Several surveys were conducted including the Citizen Satisfaction and Tax Talk Survey done last fall with a new one being offered this coming November.

The Annual Spring Cleanup was held with City crews picking up lawn and garden waste and for Seniors 65 and over also picking up large household items and recyclable goods.

The Annual Municipal Report was approved and Station Square was designated as the permanent place for Mobile Street vendors, we currently have six that use that space at various times.

Changes to the Development Cost Charge Bylaw were approved, the Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade project was tendered, the Facility Lighting Review and Upgrade contract was awarded, new tables and chairs were purchased for the Community Center and some for parks.

Council made a decision to have permanent public washrooms installed downtown and those should be in place by end of the year.

A social media policy was approved, the City now has a twitter account and a Facebook page along with the website for information.

A partnering agreement with the Chamber for the Ambassador Training Program was completed.

Smart Community Workshops were put on by the Fire Department and Council endorsed the Land Use Permit agreement between the City of Fernie and the Fernie Pets Society which will allow the Society to construct and maintain an off leash dog park.

Council has attended classes at the FSS School to interact with students, held a poetry challenge and invited the International students to come to a Council meeting and presented with a Fernie book and pins to welcome them to town.

Council agreed to assist in Physician Recruitment for Elk Valley Hospital Operating Room service. There is a doctor from overseas that is interested to come if the government will allow him to get a licence. I met his wife and daughter during their visit here and was very impressed. The entire family would be positive contributors to this community in many ways.

Council also agreed to a funding request of $25,000 towards the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation for a program to serve Fernie and surrounding area.

Fernie bear proof public dumpster

As garbage is a primary bear attractant Council passed a new bylaw prohibiting the use of plastic garbage bags for curbside collection. It was determined the quickest way to make a difference was to stop use of the plastic bags as animals and birds tend to break them open and garbage is strewn about. Four bear proof dumpsters have also been provided for the public to use 24/7 so there is now no reason that anyone has to leave garbage unattended before curbside collection day and time.

Council adopted the Youth Action Network Oversight Committee Terms of Reference as presented by the committee and appointed a Council representative, this will see youth programming in town.

The City was audited this year by the Auditor General for Local Government from June 27 to July 8, in relation of identification of the strengths and challenges of human resource practices within smaller local governments. A formal report should be provided by the end of the year. A verbal report indicated that the number of employees need to be increased, the written report hopefully will provide how this increase can be accommodated without substantially increasing taxation.

Our Chief Administration Officer(CAO) left for a position at the City of Kimberly. Mr. Don Schaffer has been hired as the interim CAO and has been doing a great job. Hopefully, the position will be permanently filled by the end of November.

Columbia Power has awarded us a grant to organize another volunteer luncheon which will take place on Friday, October 21 from noon till two at the Senior’s Drop In Center. The invitation is extended to anyone that volunteers in the community. There are so many people out there that give incredibly of themselves without anyone even knowing that they do. And then there are the many organizations and clubs that do so much for this community and our people.

This luncheon doesn’t begin to repay what you all contribute, what it does do is gather everyone together for some social time while enjoying some refreshments and allowing us to express our gratitude and say Thank You for all you do. Because without you, our most valued volunteers this town wouldn’t be the great place that it is.

These are just a few highlights of what the City staff and Council have been up to in past few months.

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