A three-court volleyball complex in Raymond, Alberta similar to the one desired by the Fernie Volleyball Club. (Image contributed by Fernie Volleyball Club)

Fernie backs volleyball courts campaign

The Fernie Volleyball Club had asked for city support in seeking grants

City of Fernie councillors have voted to lend city support to efforts by the Fernie Volleyball Club to develop beach volleyball courts in the city in 2021.

The club had requested a letter of support from the city to back its application for funds from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) to the tune of $25,000 to develop courts.

The total cost of developing a high quality three-court beach volleyball complex would be in the range of $100,000, said Fernie Volleyball Club president, Dennis Staples in a letter to the city.

In the letter, Staples said that building courts in Fernie would benefit the city and tourism to the area in multiple ways through events and competitions, additional sport infrastructure and the expansion of adult and youth programs.

On top of the $25,000 from CBT (if successful), the club would be contributing $12,000, and the club is “engaging other potential financial supporters and are working on a submission to apply for some RMI (Resorts Municipality Initiative) project funding,” according to Staples.

During discussion, City of Fernie manager of parks, facilities and recreation, Brett Logan said that the city had been talking a lot about potential locations for a future volleyball complex.

“We do have a lot of inventory for open space,” he said.

Logan said the city was considering a location near the Fernie Aquatic Centre, next to the Max Turyk soccer pitch and James White Park.

“There is definitely a few choices if (the volleyball club) were to get the grant, and I think the addition of volleyball courts to our sports inventory doesn’t come with a lot of cost to the city, and would be a great thing to extend volleyball in Fernie,” said Logan.

Mayor Qualizza voiced support for the campaign to secure funding for the courts, saying that more parks and outdoor spaces ready to be used to get more folks outdoors was always a good thing given the need for facilities during the pandemic.

Councillors voted unanimously to provide a letter of support to the Fernie Volleyball Club for the CBT grant application. No funding has been requested from the city, and the club noted that maintenance costs were insignificant.

The club hopes to get funding together for a Spring 2021 development timeline.

READ MORE: Fernie seeks funding for destination skatepark

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