The City of Fernie has adopted a new Youth Council Representative Policy. File photo

Youth representative to join Fernie council

New program open to Grade 11 and 12 students in greater Fernie area; plus other council news

Fernie high school students will have a chance to participate in local government and highlight youth issues under a new City initiative.

At the April 8 meeting, council adopted the Youth Council Representative Policy, paving the way for the program to start in September.

It aims to raise awareness of local government activities amongst Fernie youth, increase council’s awareness of youth issues in the community and bring a youth perspective to council matters and discussions.

The youth council representative will attend, participate and/or report in regular council meetings, Committee of the Whole meetings and certain council events.

They will also be encouraged to attend the BC Youth Parliament, held annually in Victoria, and other related workshops as part of the one-year commitment.

The opportunity is open to Grade 11 and 12 students in the greater Fernie area, and will be advertised by September 15 each year.

Applicants will be interviewed by a panel of council and City representatives, who will select the most suitable candidate and make a recommendation to council to approval.

The Youth Council Representative is not a paid position, however, the City will cover the cost of Youth Parliament registration (approximately $350) plus travel and accommodation in Victoria for five days.

Asset renewal project contract awarded

Urban Systems Ltd. has been contracted by the City of Fernie to determine which public assets need to be replaced first.

At the April 8 meeting, council authorized a consulting services contract with Urban Systems in the amount of $210,631 for the Prioritization Framework and Integrated Infrastructure Capital Plan (IICP) project.

A City spokeswoman explained the goal of the IICP project, referred to as Phase 3 of Asset Management Planning Phases, is to develop a list of prioritized asset renewal projects based on risk assessment of condition, capacity and compliance. This prioritized list will inform and guide future municipal investment priorities.

The IICP initially focused on major linear assets (water, sanitary, roads and drainage) but has since been expanded to include building and facilities.

The Urban Systems contract is largely funded by a $181,750 Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund grant with the remainder to be funded through the City’s facilities reserve.

City to review leisure services fees

The City of Fernie is set to review its leisure service fees.

At the April 8 meeting, council directed the Leisure Services Advisory Board to undertake a comprehensive review of Leisure Services User Regulation & Fees Bylaw No.2317 & Joint Use Agreement.

Director of Community Services Marta Proctor explained the review will aim to clear confusion about the City’s fees for leisure services and compare them to neighbouring towns.

The review process will be communicated to facility stakeholders and user groups.

Floodplain Management Bylaw amended

Council has amended a bylaw to clear up confusion around rules on floodplain management in Fernie.

At the April 8 meeting, council voted to adopt Bylaw No. 2373, cited as Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 2348, Amendment No. 1, 2019.

The purpose of this bylaw amendment is to clarify the exemptions section of the Floodplain Management Bylaw.

These changes clearly identify what is exempt on a new build versus what is exempt on renovations/additions to existing buildings.

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