MOSS AND LICHEN cover an old knotty board on the side of a cabin on Vidette Lake.

Ashcroft has no room for the rodeo

Town doesn't seem interested in looking for alternatives to keep a decades-old event going, even for the sake of its businesses.

Ashcroft Council announced its decision this week that there is no land available on the Mesa for the rodeo.

The committee approached the Council earlier this year after they were told to move off of the property they’d leased for decades of Ashcroft Rodeos, asking to be granted some of the land that sits overlooking Ashcroft.

Council and Village staff looked at the confusing property lines there, trying to distinguish between Crown Land, Village property and the land they’d promised to the school board for some time before announcing their official decision almost six months later.

Unfortunately, the answer is “No”.

“It’s important that we have land for future development and we are planning to move forward with it,” said Councillor Alf Trill.

“The request led to a lot of consideration and review on our part,” said Mayor Jack Jeyes. “In order to position ourselves for the future, I think it’s necessary.”

The reasoning is justifiable, although one wonders how stable that land is and why it hasn’t been developed before now if it’s such prime real estate.

However, given that the rodeo has such a positive impact on the town and its businesses, I would have hoped that the Council would have been a little more proactive in helping the committee find a new home elsewhere. They have connections that the committee doesn’t have.

We’ve already missed one rodeo this year – and we did miss it! It takes a lot of planning to pull off an event that big and time’s a-wasting.

If it isn’t already too late for 2016, then it looks like the ball is in Cache Creek’s court. The committee has asked the Village to help them convince Wastech to let them set up on some of their property along the highway. It’s certainly not as nice as the old rodeo grounds were, but anything will do in a pinch. And Cache Creek Council has already said it is unwilling to let the Rodeo leave this area if it can help keep it, for the sake of the local business community.

Let’s hope progress is made soon.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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