Fernie to introduce public washrooms

As spring approaches, Fernie council is again looking to introduce public washrooms to the downtown core.

As spring approaches, Fernie council is again looking to introduce public washrooms to the downtown core.

During the Feb. 23 council meeting, Coun. Ange Qualizza initiated a public washroom discussion, asking council if there was any funding available for the implementation of these facilities.

“There is money budgeted there,” Chief Administrative Officer Jim Hendricks said, noting that the city would be able to access the resort development strategy funds, which are allocated for festivals and events infrastructure, including stages, gates for crowd control and Porta-Potties. “Once we determine the costs, as long as it doesn’t take up more than anticipated …there is an allocation for it.”

Coun. Phil Iddon noted that although public washrooms wouldn’t be feasible in the winter months, considering Fernie’s influx of tourism, with the wide variety of summer events in Fernie, the summer would provide ample opportunity to introduce the facilities.

“I think it’s an important asset for ourdowntown core,” said Iddon. “It’s an asset that will improve the tourist visits in the downtown core for a number of events.”

He went on to say, “I really think we should go ahead with that.”

The proposed location is on the west side of the Arts Station, however, Hendricks voiced that they must look further into the location as some of that property is not city owned.

If all goes according to plan, the city hopes to introduce the facilities to Fernie this year.