Kootenay News Advertiser

Fernie services get Federal funding

The West Fernie Servicing Project will benefit from $5.4 million in funding from the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund. This investment will support the first phase of the community’s efforts to upgrade its water and sewer infrastructure.

“Infrastructure investments are an important driver of economic growth and job creation, and I am pleased that this project will help protect the environment and the health of East Kootenay residents,” said David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia.

This project involves upgrading a deteriorating water distribution system, constructing a community sewer system, and providing storm sewer service in low lying areas. The longterm goal of the project is to develop sufficient infrastructure for West Fernie to become part of the City of Fernie. This Phase 1 funding will begin that work.

“We would like to thank the federal and provincial governments for investing in this project. Bringing sewer and improved water service to this community is so important and would not be possible without this generous support,” said Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Board Chair Rob Gay.

An additional $400,000 in funding for this project will be provided through the community and the Electoral Area A’s portion of the Elk Valley Mine Tax Sharing Agreement.

“This is huge for West Fernie. We have been working with the community for several years to bring this forward and it would not have been possible without all levels of government working together including Kootenay—Columbia MP David Wilks, the City of Fernie, and in particular, Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett whose persistence and hard work has moved these applications forward within BC,” adds Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “This announcement brings together a total of $7.5 million in benefits for West Fernie in the last 5 years. It will make needed infrastructure upgrades cost-effective for West Fernie and will be a critical consideration in the upcoming community approval process.”

“It is personally gratifying to receive such a large amount for West Fernie,” said MLA Bennett. “Mike Sosnowski and I have worked on this together for so many years. This is a wonderful start to meeting the critical needs of the residents of West Fernie.”

“Smaller communities in BC need support from all levels of government to ensure that water and wastewater systems meet federal and provincial standards,” said UBCM President Mary Sjostrom.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

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