07/23/2013 07:11 EDT | Updated 09/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Voters in Regina to get say on who pays for expensive sewage plant upgrade

REGINA - Voters in Regina will get a chance after all to cast ballots in a referendum on funding for an upgrade to the city's waste-water treatment plant.

City council voted unanimously Monday night to go ahead with a referendum on the issue, despite a city clerk's office ruling last week that there weren't sufficient signatures on a petition calling for a vote.

Mayor Michael Fougere (foo-ZHAYR') made the motion for the referendum, and told reporters before the meeting that it was needed because there was clearly a desire for the public to have its say.

Regina Water Watch spent a month collecting signatures to try to trigger a binding vote on the $224-million project, which currently calls for the work and maintenance to be done through a city partnership with the private sector.

But on Friday, the city clerk declared the petition was not valid because too many people left required information off the document when they signed it.

Fougere says he expects a referendum will cost in the range of $200,000 to $400,000, but it's not clear when the vote will be held. (CJME, CKRM)

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version indicated referendum would be held on whether to upgrade the treatment plant