At a Special Meeting of Council held on July 18, Fernie Council approved an Alternative Approval Process in regards to a municipal boundary expansion north of Brenners Road. The proposed expansion is in regards to the lot on which the Fernie Ford dealership is located, and if approved, the expansion would incorporate that lot into city limits. The Special Meeting just met quorum with four members of Council in attendance, including Mayor Mary Giuliano, Councillors Joe Warsharwsky, Phil Iddon and Dan McSkimming.
According to interim Chief Administrative Officer Don Schaffer, the proposed expansion is only in relation to the Fernie Ford lot, not to any of the residential lots on Brenner Road.
“The residential properties around the lot are not being brought in at this time,” said Schaffer, adding the residential lots will remain within the RDEK Area A boundary at this time.
“The City had been interested in doing that boundary extension and had been exploring it for a while,” said Schaffer. “As part of the servicing agreement that [the city] entered into when [Ford] built the facility, the idea was that the city would eventually expand to include it.”
The City is using an Alternative Approval Process to address the boundary expansion. When using an Alternative Approval Process, electors within the City of Fernie have to let the City know they are against the expansion. If 10 per cent of electors are opposed to the boundary expansion – which equates to 378 votes – the issue will go to a referendum. If the City does not receive 10 per cent opposition, they will move forward with the expansion.
“If we get 10 per cent of the eligible voters in Fernie to submit the forms that were approved today, in order for the city to proceed it would have to go to referendum,” said Schaffer.
Voters have until 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 to voice their opposition to the expansion, if they choose to do so. Forms are available at City Hall and on the city’s website. Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact City Hall.