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Posted: May 23, 2014

Important meeting June 4 for West Fernie residents

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is hoping for a strong turnout next week as they host a public meeting on the proposed West Fernie Servicing and Restructure Project.

Area A Director Mike Sosnowski
Area A Director Mike Sosnowski

“We have been working on this project for several years and we are now at the point where we are ready to take it out to the community for approval via a petition process,” says Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “Before that process begins, we want to share the latest information on the project with residents and property owners so that everyone clearly understands both the project and the process.”

The project consists of three distinct components:

1. Servicing: Providing/improving water, sewer and storm drainage services.

2. Financing: Utilizing grants, securing additional grants and borrowing money to pay for servicing improvements.

3. Governance Restructure: Joining the City of Fernie.

One big change since the last time the RDEK met with the community is that the Project would now be done in phases (pending community approval to proceed). The decision to move to a phased approach was based on the grant that was approved under the Federal Gas Tax Fund—General Strategic Priorities Fund. The amount of the grant is enough for Phase 1 of the project.

“This is a complex project. From the beginning, we have been committed to making sure we bring out the most economical and practical option to the community. The phased approach is a critical new part of the project,” adds Sosnowski.

Another element of the project the RDEK had been waiting for confirmation on relates to the Governance Restructure component, and the degree to which the Province would provide funding to the City of Fernie to help with the transition of West Fernie into the city.

At the end of April, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development approved the maximum restructure assistance package available. On May 12, the City of Fernie passed a resolution committing to initiating a boundary extension process to incorporate West Fernie and agreeing to a five-year transition to the full municipal tax rate for properties in the extension area.

The project will be explained in detail at a meeting on Wednesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at the Fernie Family Centre. Following the presentations, there will be a question and answer period.

For information on the West Fernie Servicing & Restructure Package, visit or contact the RDEK office in Cranbrook.


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