Ashcroft Council gave first three readings to Bylaw 803 at its Jan. 25 meeting.
The bylaw authorizes the Village to borrow the estimated costs of constructing upgrades to the Ashcroft Water Treatment Plant. In this case, the estimated costs for the total project are $9,873,263 and the Village plans to borrow $4,128,739 for its share.
Staff added “an exchange rate cushion of $1.2 million,” said treasurer Yoginder Bhalla.
Council also appoved a motion to authorize staff to proceed with the preparation of documents required for an Alternative Approval Process once Bylaw 803 has been approved by the Inspector of Municipalities
The bylaw and other documentation will be sent to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval. Once the bylaw has received the Inspector’s approval the Alternate Approval Process can begin.
“That seems straightforward,” commented Mayor Jack Jeyes.
He said the $4,128,739 is the maximum amount of money that they can borrow. They could borrow less if they choose.
The type of size of water treatment system chosen by the Village will affect how much it will cost the taxpayers, as will the type of building that houses it.
The size of the system is determined by the current water usage, but the Village is hoping to lower that this summer through water restrictions. The Village’s project consultant, Urban Systems, has said Ashcroft has the second or third highest water consumption per capita in the country.
Peter Coxswain, an engineer with Urban Systems, told a public meeting that much of the equipment for the new system will be coming from the US, raising the costs of the project.
The Village plans to go to an Alternative Approval Process for the borrowing, the same method it used for borrowing money for the fire truck. If 10 per cent or more of the residents file their disapproval through the AAP, the Village will go to a public referendum.
The AAP request has now gone in to the Inspector of Municipalities, and the Village is hoping to initiate the AAP for beginning of March.