There was an important milestone in the West Fernie Servicing and Infrastructure Project today as the City of Fernie and Regional District of East Kootenay received notification from the Province that the City’s boundary restructure has been approved for Phase 1 of the project.
“The City of Fernie is pleased to welcome its newest residents to the City,” says City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano. “We look forward to the continued progress in the months to come and to the day we can officially celebrate West Fernie in its entirety becoming part of the City of Fernie.”
Today’s approval means approximately 130 properties on the south side of Highway 3 in West Fernie are officially part of the City of Fernie. In turn, all properties in Phase 1 with functioning sewer in front of their properties can apply to the City of Fernie for sewer service. Also, inquiries and applications for development (building permits, rezoning, subdivision) should now be directed to City of Fernie staff.
“This is an exciting moment in this project,” says RDEK Electoral Area A Director, Mike Sosnowski. “Having said that, there is still a great deal of work to do as we finish Phase 1 construction this spring and focus our energy on Phase 2.”
The 2017 Property taxes for the 130 Phase 1 properties will be issued by the City of Fernie, and will be the first of a five-year transition from the RDEK tax rate to City of Fernie tax rate. A parcel tax to cover the cost of the project will be applied to all West Fernie properties after Phase 2 is complete.
While Phase 1 is largely complete, there is still work to do in the spring including some underground infrastructure work in one area south of the Highway, along with some ditching, storm work, final grading, topsoil and hydroseeding.
The detailed design for Phase 2 is nearing completion and the RDEK expects it to go to tender in January, with construction in 2017. A Request for Qualifications for Phase 2 closed this week.
A formal celebration will be planned for the completion of all phases of the project in 2018.
For more information on the West Fernie Servicing & Infrastructure Project, contact Project Manager Elizabeth Ahlgren at the RDEK’s Cranbrook office.