City makes recreation a priority with renewal of MOU
By Erin Knutson
The City of Fernie is on board to continue to make leisure a priority by granting community members the opportunity to recreate in neighbouring districts.
City councillors voted in favour to execute the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Elk Valley Recreation Access Pass between the Districts of Elkford and Sparwood for a term up to Sept. 2023 at Tuesday’s (Nov. 12) meeting.
According to Fernie’s official community plan policy statements, the city is supportive of the expansion of recreation and leisure opportunities for its members, including all age groups and abilities, as well as promoting partnerships with regional and local government.
The renewal was contingent on a slight increase in rates of two per cent after amending the Leisure Services User Regulation and Fees Bylaw to execute the MOU with the three districts for the next three years.
Established in 2016, the only amendment to the original agreement was the two per cent increase in rates annually over the entirety of its five-year term.
The Leisure Services Advisory Board supported the rate increase in Sept. 2019. Once bylaw amendments aligned to fees outlined in the MOU, council approved changes.
Despite low numbers of sales, with the total purchase of 21 passes in the past three years (2017-2019), the benefit of holding an alternative option for community residents moving back and forth between the three districts is seen as a positive one, according to council reports.
“All those hockey players’ parents at the rink could be on treadmills—let’s get those numbers up,” said Mayor Ange Qualizza.
Lead image: The outdoor rink is one of Fernie’s numerous spectacular outdoor recreation amenities. e-KNOW file photo