Update from the RDEK

Update from the Regional District of East Kootenay.

Mike Sosnowski is the director of the RDEK.

The Regional District of East Kootenay has had a busy month. Last month, Mike Sosnowski, director of the RDEK, attended the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver, where he was able to have a variety of conversations with other municipal and ministries leaders.

“I met with the manager and staff from the agriculture and land commission and I met with the Minister of Transportation, Todd Stone, asking for a traffic study in Fernie,” said Sosnowski in an interview with The Free Press. The last traffic study was done in 2007, and Sosnowski said that a new one is needed to help future improvements to the highway.

“We’re going to have to do something to the highway in West Fernie so we need a study done to tell us how much traffic has increased,” he said. “I’m sure it will be surprising but substantial.”

In addition to the traffic study in Fernie, Sosnowski said that the RDEK is also looking at changes to the highway stretch in Hosmer, such as lowering the speed limit and adding a potential turning lane.

Along with the UBCM, Sosnowski reported that the RDEK started operation with a larger passenger bus on Oct. 5.

“We had a 20-passenger bus and it was full all the time so a 30-passenger bus started operation on Monday,” he said. “A lot of students use it to get to the Academy in Fernie from Elkford and Sparwood. It’s good that they are using it. BC Transit was able to provide us with a 30-passenger bus at no extra cost.”

Sosnowski also said that the RDEK is holding two presentations on Oct. 29 – the first from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the second from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – detailing the engineering for the phase one upgrades to West Fernie. Both presentations will be followed by a question and answer period.

“There will be an open house and we will present the preliminary design to the community and discussing phase two and answering any questions about the project,” said Sosnowski, adding that the presentations will be held at the Stanford Inn.