Ashcroft Terminal Community Working Group – Update
In late April, we shared information on our website and in an open letter to Ashcroft and Cache Creek residents explaining that Ashcroft Terminal is in the midst of a $28.2 million infrastructure expansion with funding support from Transport Canada, and a large area of our site is now in active construction. As an important safety measure, we installed a gate on Evans Road at the entrance of our industrial property and informed the community that we would be enforcing restrictions on trespassing to get to the slough through Ashcroft Terminal private property.
We invited residents of Ashcroft and Cache Creek to apply to become members of a Community Working Group, an advisory group that would make recommendations about recreational enhancements Ashcroft Terminal could contribute to as an alternative to continued access to the slough.
The Working Group consists of 3 community representatives; 3 Ashcroft Terminal employees; 1 representative from Bonaparte Indian Band; and 2 municipal appointees – one each from the Village of Ashcroft and the Village of Cache Creek.
The Working Group is co-chaired by Ashcroft Terminal’s Assistant Manager Patty Kinvig and former Ashcroft Mayor, Andy Anderson. Ashcroft Terminal brought in two external consultants to facilitate the meetings and provide technical guidance regarding planning and design. CN Police and CP Police have been invited to provide information related to rail safety and federal regulations.
To date, the Community Working Group has met three times. At the first meeting we reviewed the Terms of Reference, learned more about Ashcroft Terminal construction plans and rail safety regulations. At the second meeting, members identified various user groups and uses of the slough, and brainstormed alternative areas for riverfront access and recreation that do not involve trespass through private property. Ideas for consideration included the following:
- Enhanced walking trails
- A dog park
- Splash park for kids
- Finding alternative access to the slough
- Better use of existing recreational facilities
- Enhanced river access at a location other than the slough
Community Working Group members ranked each of the ideas from their most to least preferred option, and from this ranking, three ideas clearly emerged for further exploration:
- Enhanced walking trails
- Alternative access to the slough other than through Ashcroft Terminal private property, and
- Enhanced river access at a location other than the slough.
The Working Group is now analyzing these options, and evaluating each one against a detailed set of criteria, including:
- Community interest and potential number of users
- Approval process (land ownership, environmental regulations etc.)
- Technical Information (constructability, engineering, feasibility)
- Liability (who has responsibility)
At September’s meeting, the Community Working Group will review each of the three options evaluated against the criteria above and may be in a position to submit recommendations to Ashcroft Terminal. If further discussion and information is required, a final meeting will be scheduled for October.
We want to thank the members of the Community Working Group for their time, interest and openness to share ideas. The meetings have been productive and helpful in providing Ashcroft Terminal with an understanding of community values.