The car parks at the Fernie Visitor Information Centre (VIC) and City Hall are set for a do-over, with the City of Fernie awarding a $161,877.45 contract at the most recent council meeting.
Marwest Industries, a Castlegar-based company, will be tasked with tearing up and upgrading the car-parks at both sites, adding parking stalls along with additional electric vehicle charging stations, and changing traffic flow.
The funds awarded are part of the funds the city secured through the Tourism Dependent Communities grant in 2021. The city successfully applied for over $750,000 in grant funds which would go towards installing EV chargers, upgrading parking and adding tourism and visitor enhancements at the VIC along with trail upgrades, and a staging area under a wider project called ‘Journey to Iconic Fernie’.
The rest of the project will be announced soon, with tenders out for upgrades at the VIC, including a new monument sign,
Under the contract awarded on Jan. 10, the number of stalls at the VIC will be increased to 49 (from 18), and the sani dump will be removed.
Four EV chargers will be added, along with three accessible stalls, and four RV/trailer stalls. The traffic flow will also be changed, with access to the VIC reduced to one entrance along Dicken Rd.
Councillor Phil Iddon asked for clarification on the future of the sani dump, which is well-used during summer months.
According to Chief Administrative Officer Michael Boronowski, there are currently no concrete plans for its replacement, after the existing sani dump is removed from the VIC. He said that the city was in conversation with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) to build a new sani dump at the transfer station, but those discussions were ongoing. He added that camping was a regional activity, and there were other sani dumps within a 30-minute drive time from Fernie.
Parking at City Hall will also see slight improvements, with the number of stalls increased from eight to 11, and the number of EV charging points increasing to five.
The target for completion of the carpark renewal at both sites is May 2022.
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