Fernie’s City Council meeting on Apr. 11 discussed a variety of topics, including funding allocations from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), the patio application at the Fernie Brewing Company (FBC) and the allocation of $5,000 to the Elk Valley Economic Initiative for the 2016 Adventure Conference. Jon Levesque was the only councillor not in attendance at the meeting.
At a Special Meeting of Council on Apr. 4, Council addressed the funding requests from local groups and allocated funds under the CBT’s Community Initiative Program.
Council received over $165,000 in funding request and were only able to allocated $68,280.98 in funds to local initiatives. In the end, 33 of the 36 groups who applied received some funding. $9000 was the most money awarded and went to two groups – the Fernie Youth Soccer Association for the Eirin Amundsen Memorial Pavillion and the Fernie Pets Society in support of an off-leash dog park. Wapiti Music Festival was given $4,000 while the Fernie and District Arts Council for potters received $2,234.98. A complete list of funding allocation follows this article.
Council voted in favour of an application from the FBC for a brewery lounge area endorsement, which would enable the FBC to add a patio to their establishment.
In a report presented by Suzanne Garand, city staff endorsed the application as it complied with their noise bylaws, aligned with their economic development strategy and is in a commercial zone, only impacting one residence. The application allows the patio to be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, and permits 47 patrons to the establishment – a maximum of 24 on the patio and 23 inside the brewery’s tasting lounge. The application was cited as having a positive impact on the community and all councillors were in favour of it.
Council also voted in favour of providing $5,000 in funding to the Elk Valley Economic Initiative for the 2016 Adventure Conference, set to take place in mid June. The aim of the conference is to promote economic prosperity in the Elk Valley, enticing people to open businesses and set up roots in the Elk Valley. The money is coming from the City’s legislative budget for external contract, which was allocated $10,000 for 2016.
Chief Administrative Officer Jim Hendricks announced that Fernie is one of four communities to be audited on the topic of managing the inherent risks of limited human resources within small local governments this year.
“Our number came up with the Auditor General for local government,” he said. Three auditors will visit City Hall in mid-June for roughly 10 days. The results of the audit are intended to be released six months after the audit is complete.
“I think the topic is an interesting one and I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say,” said Hendricks. “Human resources is something that we’ve identified as an area that we need to focus more attention on.”
Along with Fernie, Squamish, Port Edward and Nelson and will also be audited in relation to human resources.
At the end of the meeting, Councillor Ange Qualizza spoke to the Community Poetry Challenge. The City of Calgary challenged Fernie to the Poetry Challenge and Fernie answered by finding a variety of poets to read their original work at an upcoming council meeting. There will be a poet from Fernie Secondary School, and Isabella Dicken Elementary School. Three poets were interested from the Fernie Academy, two junior poets who will be mentored by the senior poet. Along with the youth poets, two adults will be welcomed to share their poetry.
All councillors were very enthusiastic about the initiative, with Councillors McSkimming and Warshawsky seeing potential for it to grow in future years.
Complete list of CBT Community Initiative Program funding:
CBT Institute of Regional History – $500East Kootenay P.A.R.T.Y. Program – $500Association Francophones des Rocheuses du Sud – $1,000Blue Lake Foresty Education Society – $1,296Bright Beginnings Community Preschool – $1,500Community Connection Society of Southeast BC – $1,000Says for Girls Canada Society Inc. – $1,000Elk Valley Air SAR Association – $2,000Elk Valley Society for Community Living – $2,500Fernie and District Arts Council (Potters) – $2,234.98Fernie and District Arts Council (Fernie Art Expo) – $2,000Fernie and District Arts Council (Dumpster project) – $1,250Fernie and District Arts Council (Reel Canadian Film Festival) – $2,000Fernie and District Historical Society Bus Tour – $700Fernie Derrick Society – $3,000Fernie Forest School – $1,500Fernie Ghostriders Junior Hockey Club – $2,500Fernie Heritage Cemetery Restoration Society – $2,000Fernie Inspire Race to Empower Society – $1,150Fernie Mountain Bike Club – $2,000Fernie Pets Society (Spay & Neuter program) – $2,000Fernie Pets Society (Off-leash dog park) – $9,000Fernie Trails Alliance – $650Fernie Women’s Resource Centre – $1,500Fernie Youth Soccer Association (Memorial Pavilion) – $9,000Kootenay Canine Search and Rescue Society – $2,000Kootenay Livestock Association – $500Northern BC Friends of Children Society (East Kootenay Family Support Project) – $1,000Outdoor Connections – $2,500The Joan Delich Kingergym Society – $1,500West Kootenay Peer Group Project – $1,500