Fernie Council updates: bears and business bylaws

At the Mar. 29 Fernie Council meeting, councillors voted in favour of amending bylaw 2028, with regards to business license operation.

At the Mar. 29 Fernie Council meeting, councillors voted in favour of amending bylaw 2028, with regards to business license operation.

Before the amendment, the business license year for Fernie-based operations started on May 1, and expired at the end of April. Council voted in favour of altering the business year to start on Jan. 1, and follow the calendar year.

This bylaw amendment supports councils corporate strategic goal to foster and support economic diversity.

The revised term of license, and following the calendar year of January through December, aligns with license terms established by Elkford and Sparwood so that Fernie may participate in an Elk Valley inter-municipal business licenses plan. This would allow for Elk Valley businesses to only require one business license to operate throughout the Elk Valley.

Because 2016 business licenses will only be valid until Dec. 31, four months shorter than traditional licenses, the City will reduce the cost of licenses for this year to a cost of $55 to reflect the shorter term.

Council also addressed the issue of bears in Fernie, and reminds people to store their garbage properly, inside or in bear proof containers, between garbage pickup days. According to the current bylaw, residents are only allowed to put their garbage on the street for pick up on designated days.