The Village of Ashcroft will press its case at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this year to twin the North Ashcroft Reservoir to help supply potable water to the Ashcroft Indian Reserve.
Council is requesting private meetings with the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing ahead of the annual convention next month to highlight the need for the new infrastructure, noting the existing reservoir serving North Ashcroft is undersized and does not meet current standards, while the water pressure needs to be increased to the fire hydrant system on the Mesa to make it more effective.
“The North Ashcroft Reservoir was built at a time when the community was a lot smaller,” Ashcroft Mayor Barbara Roden says, noting the area now houses the hospital, the RCMP station, two sets of apartments, and the Ashcroft HUB. “It’s grown up and the reservoir is the same reservoir. We’re talking about twinning the reservoir, which is key infrastructure needed for our community.”
As UBCM will be hosted virtually due to COVID-19, the ministerial meetings are scheduled for Sept. 14–18, a week before the event.
Council hopes to lobby the ALC and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which is responsible for water distribution and local government and Indigenous relations, to raise awareness of the projects, push for funding support, and remove the proposed reservoir lands from the Agricultural Land Reserve so they can start construction.
By twinning the reservoir, council would have the ability to connect the Ashcroft Indian Band with the Village’s water system and its $8.2-million water treatment plant, Roden says. Both the Village and the AIB will be applying for grants to fund this project.
Council will also request a private meeting with BC Hydro in a third attempt to secure grant funding to install a level three fast charging electric vehicle station near the water treatment plant, which has been denied twice. During the plant’s construction the power source for the charger was installed, and is ready for the infrastructure to be connected.
BC Hydro is currently installing level three chargers on arterial highways, and council suggests they could potentially lobby the Crown corporation to partner with Ashcroft for the installation of the level three chargers on secondary highways.