By Andrew May
The Jan. 28 regular meeting of Ashcroft council was preceded by the scheduled Committee of the Whole session, which featured presentations by RCMP Sgt. Kathleen Fitzgerald and Canadian Pacific Director of Government Affairs, Mike LoVecchio. Sgt. Fitzgerald updated Council as to the detachment’s ongoing efforts to curb the activities of some of the area’s less desirable residents. LoVecchio provided an outline of railroad operations in the Ashcroft area, with an emphasis on safety concerns.
Moving on with the agenda, council instructed staff to follow up on the BC Museum Association (BCMA) Family Day mini-grant application. The Province, in partnership with BCMA, is providing small grants to support local organizations in offering no-admission Family Day events. After some discussion, council agreed to organize a Family Movie Night at the Hub. Concern was expressed at the very short timeframe, but Council and staff agreed it’s going to happen. Check The Journal next week.
Council approved a request from Gold Country Communities Society for a letter of support, and a $250 donation, to help the planned Geotour event in the fall. This third expansion of Gold Country’s very successful Geocaching program will see events in Clinton on Sept. 20, Ashcroft on Sept. 21, and in Cache Creek on Sept. 22.
Looking toward the future, council approved the work program and budget proposal to develop a draft Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw by municipal engineering consultant Urban Systems to work with council and staff. During the ensuing discussion, CFO Bhalla confirmed the funds ($69,000) for the proposed program were in fact allocated in previous budgets. Asked why there was a need to engage a professional engineering firm to guide the process, CAO Allen stated “We don’t have an engineer on staff. We don’t have the expertise.”
The topic engendered a lively dialogue during Question Period. A member of the public asked, “Why do we need to spend all of this money when we already have a bylaw?” Mayor Barbara Roden said that the existing bylaw was significantly out of date and “does not reflect current legislation and code requirements.” She added that Subdivision and Development Bylaw updates are the logical next step, given that the Village has recently completed the Official Community Plan and updates to Zoning Bylaw #823 (available as always at the Village office or online at www.ashcroftbc.ca).
Another questioner from the gallery inquired as to intentions regarding electrical services. He was seeking confirmation that the proposed development in the “Dunes” (on the Mesa, behind the church) would “maintain consistency with existing infrastructure,” i.e. underground wiring vs. poles and wires.
Minutes of council meetings, and all of the documents referenced in the minutes, are always available for perusal at the Village office and on the Village of Ashcroft website, as are agendas for upcoming Council meetings, minutes of past Council meetings, and current and past Village Newsletters. Check out www.ashcroftbc.ca.