Fernie mayor Ange Qualizza. File Photo

Fernie mayor reflects on 2019

We’ve had a busy year at City Hall on your behalf and have achieved some great things together!

• We have appointed our first youth councillor, Ms. Aislinn Dressler. Aislinn is taking to her role of youth councillor with enthusiasm and will be traveling on behalf of Fernie this month to represent us at the BC Youth Parliament session, where 97 youth from across the province will debate a variety of legislation.

• Our Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan has us using new climate data to protect our community from future flood risk, and we join many communities across the province chasing grant funding to support our flood mitigation needs. The completion of the first phase by Maiden Lake was a $1.5 million project. We have just applied through the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness fund to implement the Mountview Dike Upgrade Phase 1.

• We have moved into the new public works building, this building was purpose built to serve the needs of Fernie for the next hundred years.

• A real win for us this year was to repurpose a donated bridge from the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Development for the Annexe Park. The project looks great, and the addition of a pit toilette there has really helped that area.

• With the tremendous community partnerships we enjoy, we were able to partner with the Fernie Trails Alliance and Bike BC to be awarded a grant of $70,000 to extend the pedestrian trail to the Chamber of Commerce.

• Goats were met with thunderous success, we piloted our first targeted grazing program to treat sensitive areas at the Railyard Dog Park and the most frequent question I received when I went to the park, was, can we keep the goats? The pilot was such a success, we look forward to exploring more opportunities where the goats could assist us.

• In August, council endorsed a resolution that supports the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and we are committed to moving through a mutually respectful process as a local government in the process of reconciliation efforts.

• The City of Fernie was host to a very successful Mine Rescue Competition, we are proud to support our mining industry by organizing an event that provides opportunities for competitors to test their skills against industry standards and help train their members in safe and controlled environments.

• Council has set strategic priorities for 2019 and 2020 and are committed to sustainable service delivery that will drive our asset management plan. This plan will ensure we do just that. Through this process council has prioritized incorporating climate change adaptation into our current asset management plan, which will see us using the climate lens through all of our decisions.

• This past year we have updated our rainfall intensity curve – which informs how we process development applications. Essentially this means, we are using new climate data to assess storm water management requirements for new developments in our community.

I want to thank you all for what you do for Fernie; your investment, your volunteerism and your commitment to our community. On behalf of aouncil, we feel very privileged to be working for you. Happy Holidays!

Mayor Qualizza

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