Residents of Ashcroft who took part in the Alternative Approval Process authorizing council to borrow up to $4.1 million for the construction of a new water treatment plant have rejected the request. A total of 10 per cent of registered voters—148—needed to register their opposition. When the process closed on June 13, some 254 forms had been received.
The next step will be assent voting (a referendum) on the loan request. “By legislation we only have 80 days from the close of the AAP to hold a referendum,” says Ashcroft CAO Michelle Allen. “Staff will recommend that voting day be Saturday, August 20.”
Mayor Jack Jeyes is disappointed in the result of the AAP, but says he will work diligently to make sure that the citizens of Ashcroft understand the serious need for a new water treatment plant and that the referendum passes. “The village needs to move forward with safe water, and the health and economic benefits that brings.”
Ashcroft resident Ray Bewza is pleased that the matter is going to a referendum. “There should be a democratic process for a project this big. There are cheaper alternatives, and I believe more research should be done. I hope to have the referendum bring out a consensus.”
Allen says that information about the referendum and voting dates will soon appear in the paper. The village will also be seeking applications from potential scrutineers.