Councillors also heard from local poets to mark National Poetry Month.  Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Councillors also heard from local poets to mark National Poetry Month. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Pet chickens, public works and poetry

Watermain replacement, streets program, animal control, all topics of discussion at Fernie Council.

The City of Fernie has reshuffled funding to replace a bridge in a popular park this year.

On Monday night, Council approved reallocating $64,671 in the community trail paving project to fund the replacement of the Annex Park bridge as recommended by the Resort Development Strategy Advisory Working Group.

“I’m so happy to see this replaced, it’s been a long time,” said Mayor Mary Guiliano.

Watermain replacement

A contract to replace 300 metres of aging galvanized water main in the Annex has been awarded to a local excavating contractor.

The City of Fernie received two submissions for the 8th Ave Lane Watermain Replacement project, with Bob Mitchell Excavating submitting the lowest bid of $239,053 exclusive of GST.

On Monday night, Council awarded the contract and approved the transfer of an extra $48,159 from the Water Reserve Fund to cover the additional expenditure.

Streets program

A contract worth more than $1.2 million has been awarded to continue improving the streets of Fernie.

Interoute Construction Ltd. (BA Blacktop) was the only company to submit a tender for the 2018 Streets Program, which consists of paving, curbs and sidewalk improvements on 9th Street from 2nd Ave to Hwy 3, as well as replacing water and sewer infrastructure.

The company’s negotiated tender price of $1,266,820.70 exclusive of GST was higher than City consultants’ estimate and the budget first generated for the project. However, councillors were left no choice but to award the contract to Interoute and approve the transfer of an extra $71,894 to fund the tendered project. Councillor Phil Iddon raised concerns about the lack of competition, suggesting that future projects could be combined to attract more bids.

Animal control

West Fernie residents are one step closer to being able to keep ducks, chickens and bees on their properties.

The Animal Control Bylaw No. 2346 has been designed to make it easier for the City to regulate and enforce regulations around pets and urban agricultural animals in the area. If it is adopted, residents will be allowed to keep one beehive and up to six female ducks and chickens, or a combination of both.

On Monday, Fernie councillors provided the first and second readings to the bylaw. Residents can have their say at the Official Community Plan/Zoning joint public hearing on April 23.