FREDERICTON (GNB) – Residents of three local service districts and two partial local service districts in York County will head to the polls on Monday, Oct. 23, for a plebiscite on a community restructuring project.

People in the local service districts of Keswick Ridge, Douglas, and Bright, as well as a portion of the local service district of Kingsclear and a portion of the local service district of Queensbury will vote on forming a new rural community.

“The feasibility study committee has been working hard to inform residents of the proposal and I commend them for their dedication,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “I encourage residents to get informed and vote on the proposal. The York project would bring together about 9,000 people and would create a rural community with a tax base of almost $650 million. This level of capacity would allow a new council to work with residents to develop the community and invest strategically.”

The rural community model has characteristics similar to those of a municipality. It is designed to put community decisions in the hands of its members, help them plan the future they want, and enable them to ensure that local services meet their needs and make the best use of property tax revenue.

Support for establishing a rural community will be considered sufficient if a majority of voters (50 per cent plus one) are in favour.

Advance polls will be held between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. Ordinary polls will be held on Monday, Oct. 23 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Electors should receive individual voter information cards in the mail during the week of Oct. 8, setting out all polling stations for their polling division. A summary of the feasibility study report will also be shared with residents prior to the plebiscite.

“The card is not required to be able to vote, but bringing it speeds up the process at the poll,” said Kim Poffenroth, municipal electoral officer. “People who are not on the voters' list may also be added at the polls by providing appropriate identification that, together, shows the voter’s name, current address and signature.”

Voters must be 18 years old on or before Oct. 23, must be a Canadian citizen, must have lived in the province for at least 40 days immediately before the date of the plebiscite, and must ordinarily reside in the community.

Results will be available on the Elections NB website on Oct. 23 after 8 p.m.