Road upgrades top local wish list

During the annual UBCM convention when Cabinet ministers are available, local councils wanted a word with Transportation Minister Stone.

Transportation is an important item in the area if local Village concerns are any indication. Each year at the Union of BC Municipalities  convention local politicians are invited to meet with Cabinet ministers to go over local issues. Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Clinton all met with Minister of Transportation Todd Stone last week over different matters.

Ashcroft Council met with Premier Christy Clark and four ministers, one of whom was Stone. Ashcroft and the city of Delta met with Clark to talk about Ashcroft Terminal expansion.

Ashcroft Mayor Andy Anderson said AT needs more infrastructure on its property and Evans Road needs upgrading. That would also help Koppers (formerly Ashcroft Treating) which is located at the end of the road.

Anderson said the Premier “basically asked Todd Stone to help us out with what we need.”

“She gets it,” said Anderson, referring to the importance of AT. “They all get it.”

He said Ashcroft also met with Health Terry Lake and Interior Health in separate meetings to talk about medical services and staffing at the hospital. He said they were assured that there would be no changes – either reduction or expansion – in the next five years. They’re still looking for doctors for us, said Anderson.

Cache Creek Council wanted to reiterate to Minister Stone that the village’s economy was being held up by the two-lane bridge at the north end of town.

Mayor John Ranta said they asked him specifically about work on the bridge, which was supposed to be expanded under Phase 1 of the Cariboo Connector, and now Phase 2 has started.

“It sounds as if they’re prepared to look at it,” said Ranta. “I don’t think highway right of way is a problem, it just needs engineering and planning. Hopefully having met with him twice over this, he will recognize it is a source of frustration for Cache Creek.”

Clinton Council also met with Stone to ask him to reconsider removing the speed transition zones in and out of town and to support their solution in fixing a culvert installed by the Ministry years ago which is now the source of flooding the residents of Tingley St. every spring.

See Susan Swan’s Striking A Balance column in this issue for more news about Clinton’s meetings with Cabinet ministers.