School disposal process
Ashcroft council will send a letter to School District No. 74 requesting a Zoom meeting to discuss the disposal process involving the Ashcroft Elementary School property.
Mayor Barbara Roden said there is a lot of misinformation in the community and it is still “early days” of the process, which is likely to take up to two years to complete. When asked by resident Gloria Mertens if the village would consider a parcel tax to exempt the total assessed value of land and improvements for the Ashcroft HUB Society, which leases the school, Roden said that since they have been invited to consult on the process council is not at liberty to discuss further considerations.
The SD74 Board of Education plans to consult with various stakeholders via Zoom, with a public meeting scheduled for Feb. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Written feedback will be accepted by the school district until Friday, Feb. 19. Those interested can email email@example.com, fill out a website survey at www.sd74.bc.ca, or mail in their thoughts to PO Box 250, Ashcroft, B.C. V0K 1A0
$500 grant for fire department
Council has approved a $500 grant-in-aid to the Ashcroft Volunteer Fire Department.
In his application to the village, acting Chief Tyler Bell said the fire department is embarking on more training, which requires a lot of volunteer time. As a result, he said, some members require childcare. “We are hoping to offset the cost that this additional training will incur in childcare costs over the next few months,” he wrote.
Coun. Deb Tuohey supported the move, saying she knows as a single parent how difficult it can be to participate in the community without childcare.
Standing committee shuffle
Ashcroft Council has shuffled the council appointments on four standing committees as follows:
Health Care: Deb Tuohey; alternate Barbara Roden
Tourism and Economic Development: Marilyn Anderson; alternative Jonah Anstett
Heritage: Deb Tuohey; alternative Nadine Davenport
Northern Development Initiative Trust: Nadine Davenport; alternate Jonah Anstett
Contract awarded for river intake project
Jim Dent Construction has been awarded the contract for Ashcroft’s river intake project, in the amount of $774,000 excluding GST.
Dent’s bid was the lowest of five bids received for the project. Other bidders included Progrus ($784,076.77), Drake Excavating ($800,516), Jake’s Construction ($907,500), and Extreme Excavating Ltd. ($1,006,179).
The project, part of the new water treatment plant, involves the construction of a chamber outside the river that will allow access to the pumps, eliminate the risk of inaccessibility, and reduce risk to the public works department.
Ashcroft supports Rossland’s bid for free contraception
Council agreed to send a letter of support backing the City of Rossland’s bid for no-cost access to all prescription contraception available in B.C. under the Medical Services Plan.
Rossland council has written a letter to B.C.’s premier, ministers of finance and health, and its local MLA, and is asking for support from other municipalities. It notes that while contraceptive methods such as condoms or vasectomies are available at low cost, no cost, or are covered by BC’s Medical Services Plan, female contraceptive methods have high up-front costs. As a result, the cost poses a significant barrier to those accessing contraception, particularly people with low incomes, youth, and people from marginalized communities.
Council supports call to declare overdose crisis national emergency
Ashcroft council will support the city of Kamloops’ request to have the government of Canada declare the overdose crisis a national public emergency. Mayor Barbara Roden said that B.C.’s health officer has already declared the overdose crisis an emergency in the province, and noted that crime in bigger cities tends to spill into smaller towns. “It’s already here and B.C. is on track for a record-breaking year [of opioid deaths],” she said.
No break on business licence fees
Ashcroft businesses won’t get a break on their business licence fees.
Ashcroft Mayor Barbara Roden noted the village had no increase in property taxes last year and its new economic development committee has made some “good strides” in promoting Ashcroft during the pandemic. Plaid Friday was extremely successful, she said. “The Village of Ashcroft is doing a lot to help our businesses and there are better ways to help them than by waiving business licence [fees],” she said.