Recent activity shows that people have confidence in where Fernie is heading and are investing in the community. Fernie had 28 new detached homes with a construction value of over $25,000,000 by end of 2017 (average cost being $527,714).
Several projects are worthy of mentioning and are listed here:
The James White Park Well river crossing, West Fernie Phase 1, and Fernie Ford property annexation were completed with West Fernie Phase 2 brought into the City boundary in December 2017.
The Short Term Rental regulation development started in 2016 with a bylaw implemented in fall of 2017.
A Floodplain mapping update was initiated, completed and bylaw updated.
Sewage Treatment Plant upgrades with alum and UV additions were completed.
The street paving projects in Mountview and Parkland Terrace, watermain and sewer-main replacements in Maintown neighbourhood were completed as well as an irrigation system was installed at Ridgemont Park.
An Asset Maintenance reporting tool was developed and used for dike inspections, manhole inspections and windrow removal.
Public bear proof bins were placed in strategic locations to reduce wildlife/human conflicts and strengthened regulations for curbside residential waste collection were put in place.
Roof repairs were completed at Aquatic Centre, Max Turyk Community Centre and Arts Station as well as deck repairs and replacement done at the Arts Station and turf improvements completed at Max Turyk Community Centre.
Leisure building rentals had 1085 hours for the Fernie Aquatic Centre reserved, 3688 hours for the Fernie Arena and 173 hours reserved for the Curling Club Hall.
Substantial work was accomplished on the Subdivision & Development Servicing Bylaw with public engagement and adoption with increased public education of bylaws and regulations via a campaign administered by bylaw students.
A part time Communications Coordinator position was added and 58 Grants and Partnering Agreements were made totaling $824,065.00.
Increased public engagement through open houses, public halls and surveys were conducted and an action plan to implement recommendations in HR Audit was created.
Facility improvements include a completed renovation at the Visitor Centre located on Highway 3 as well installation of new interpretive signage there.
The Inter-community business license agreement with Elkford and Sparwood and new Intercommunity Business License Bylaw was adopted and 660 Business Licenses issued.
The 2016 census surprised with a population of 5,250 residents, an increase of over 600 residents that resulted in having to pay 70% of policing costs instead of the 30 % due to achieving the 5000 threshold.
There were several issues that brought forth much comment from the community one being the use of herbicide to control invasive plants which is something that is mandated by the provincial government as invasive plants although sometimes attractive can quickly overrun the natural habitat and destroy it. The bylaw recognizes this and when implemented allowed for use on invasive plants and over the several years since implemented herbicides were used only once or twice and so there is a buildup of those weeds in all areas of town. A study was commissioned by an expert that showed exactly where these plants are located around town. The director of leisure services was planning on trying natural products to see if these growths could be eradicated.
2017 had Fernie featured on the Rick Mercer Show and also had famed actor Liam Neeson film here.
The July 1, Canada 150 celebration was fantastic with thousands attending.
Many positive things achieved this past year too numerous to mention however perhaps for the community the one thing that will never be forgotten is the tragedy with the loss of our valued employees Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith and contractor Jason Podloski. This loss was shocking in every way possible. At times still so unbelievable and painful for everyone especially for their loved ones. The positive that came out of this incredible sorrow was the generosity of spirit shown to our community by everyone. The amazing love of residents coming together to swiftly build an outdoor rink and the generous donation of rink boards and funds to assist in that build by the Calgary Flames Foundation and others. And the generous donations of labour, equipment and material provided so quickly by our citizens without even being asked. The list is very long so it can’t be placed here but everyone needs to know how very grateful we are to all of you for what you accomplished, what you did for this community.
Thank you everyone and wishing you all a very Healthy and Happy New Year.