A petition against the proposed borrowing bylaw to pay for the North Bridge and road realignment project has been submitted to Town Hall.
The petition was delivered Wednesday, Nov. 25 with what is believed to be a list of signatures of 718 electors. For a petition to be legally valid to be considered by the town, a minimum of 10 percent What is needed for a petition to acquire legal validity for consideration is 10 per cent of the electors declaring their support for it. With 718 signatures, the petition does seem to have adequate support for the town to take it into consideration.
If all the signatures in the petition are authenticated, the petition may cost taxpayers more money in the short-term as it would mean the town could not borrow money for the project for the next 40 years as is proposed in the borrowing bylaw. Residents would most-likely have to pay for the $5 million project within five years.
Other options for the town if the petition is successful are as follows:
Town planners could facilitate and pay for a plebiscite to garner a vote from citizens on whether they want the bridge project to move forward.
Halt the project and leave an unfinished roadway.
Regardless of whether the petition is successful, the current bridge will be removed within months as it is said to be beyond its life expectancy.
In 2003, a report showed the North Bridge had life left until 2012. The council of the day took no action on the report, however, a second report was commissioned in 2012, which stated the bridge needed to be replaced.
Interim CAO Doug Wright is in the process of reviewing the petition to ensure it meets standards under the Municipal Government Act. There is a 30-day period to review the petition.