At the June 27 City Council meeting, City of Fernie councillors approved to allocate Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding to local groups. While the City received less money from the province than expected for RMI funding, they were able to allocated nearly $100,000.
In total, the city’s annual budget for RMI funding was $95,000, the majority of which was already spoken for. Organizations including the Fernie and District Historical Society, the Arts Council and the Chamber of Commerce received a total of $60,000, leaving $35,000 for application-based funding for other community groups. Council had approved $5,000 for the Elk Valley Economic Initiative to support the adVenture Capital Conference, held in June, and $2,000 for the Rod and Gun Club annual banquet in March.
While city council is ultimately in control of allocating the RMI funds, they do take into account the input of the Resort Development Strategy Advisory Working Group (AWG). The group, comprised of six community members and Councillor Joe Warshawsky as a council liaison, held a meeting on June 8 to discuss all of the applications and allocated the remaining $28,000 in RMI funding. In total, over $53,000 in funding was asked for from 11 different organizations, including a missed application for $2,000 from the Crown of the Continent to hold their annual conference in Fernie this fall.
Fernie Public Library Association, the Fernie 3 bike race, and the Fernie Women’s Soccer Association all received a portion of the funds they requested, along with the Fernie Tennis Community Association and the Roll and Sole festival. Wapiti received the amount they asked for in the application, with $5,040 being allocated for the music festival.
The Fernie and District Historical Society received the most funding, originally requesting the $15,000 the proposal asked for to support their Chautauqua event. This would bring the total amount of RMI funding for the Historical Society to $35,000. That amount was altered to accommodate the missed application from the Crown of the Continent.
“I make the recommendation that we leave all the groups alone other than the Fernie and District Historical Society,” said Councillor Warshawsky. “Their bid said $10,000 was what they needed and they gave them $15,000. Because this group [Crown of the Continent] was on time, but misplaced, I recommend that they are given $1,500 to $2,000 but that is up to council.”
Councillor Dan McSkimming made the motion to re-allocate $1,500 of the funding for the Historical Society to be given to the Crown of the Continent. The motion passed unopposed.
Three organizations that applied for RMI funding received no funds, including Single Track 6, the Association Francophone des Rocheuse du Sud and Friends of Fernie Heritage Library.