Historic Ashcroft sign, date unknown. (Photo credit: Wendy Coomber)

Restaurant patio licences extended in Ashcroft for another year

Council decision enables establishments to keep outdoor patios through October 2021

Patios able to stay

Ashcroft restaurants that expanded their outdoor seating will be allowed to keep their extended patios open for another year.

In a special meeting Sept. 30, council agreed to support the extension of the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch’s Temporary Expanded Service Area licences to October 31, 2021. The licences were introduced earlier this year as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the declaration of a public health emergency.

“We’re lucky we live where we do and we can still have things outside,” said Coun. Deb Tuohey. “I personally just ordered some heaters.”

Coun. Nadine Davenport, owner of UniTea Café and Lounge, recused herself from the discussion.

Working committee struck

Ashcroft council has appointed a member to a joint working group to explore the possibility of sharing a bylaw enforcement officer with the communities of Cache Creek and Clinton.

Coun. Marilyn Anderson was appointed to the committee, with Davenport as her alternate.

The move followed a meeting on Sept. 24 in which CAOs for each community began a cursory exploration of what the structure could look like. “It appears all communities are on board and we’re looking to explore what our options are,” Ashcroft CAO Daniela Dyck said.

Dyck noted the communities are eligible for grant funding for COVID-19-related infractions or education, but any other bylaw services will have to be covered by Village coffers. She added having a bylaw officer — whether a contract person or on staff — would provide a buffer between enforcement and administration.

At the moment, Ashcroft is getting a lot of complaints, which would have required a bylaw enforcement response, but have instead fallen to various individuals on staff, including the CAO.

Council moves ahead with storm run-off study

Ashcroft will move ahead with an $80,000 drainage study in North Ashcroft, with plans to bill developers a proportional cost of the project if a grant isn’t secured.

The decision followed concerns last month from Santo Talarico, who is involved in a joint venture with Robert Landucci on an eight-lot subdivision. Talarico argued that the cost of the study should be borne by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, not the developers. The cost to the Landucci developers is estimated at $898 for each lot if no grant funding is received.

A council report notes no grant opportunities have yet been identified. However, council maintains the study is needed and must be done to allow construction to continue. The catchment area includes 60 acres from Elephant Mountain to Government Street and would take four to six months to complete.

“I hope that just because we’ve come up with $800 per lot that doesn’t discourage the development, and they understand we are working on it,” Tuohey said. “Just talking to the general public out there, they don’t want to pay for someone else’s development.”

Mayor Barbara Roden noted the study must be done. “We’ve seen uncertain weather patterns and weather events that we have not seen before,” she said. “It behooves us as a government to do everything we can to safeguard the residents not only physically but financially.

“The $800 [per lot] is the absolute worst-case scenario with no funding.”

Talarico said he was encouraged that “this will now allow us the clarity in development fees to move forward. We look forward to having the subdivision of our property finalized now so we can move to our next phase of construction planning.”


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