Riverview Town Council rejected a call on Monday night by the environmental group Riverkeeper to lobby the federal government to build a bridge to replace the causeway.
Council voted seven to one against the resolution, which was brought forward by Deputy Mayor Lana Hansen. She was the only one who voted in favour.
"A little bit of a lone duck, certainly I've always been very supportive of the river restoration," said Hansen.
Mayor Ann Seamans said the Town of Riverview is not against the idea of a bridge, but there is another project that takes priority.
'Fear makes you make different decisions in life and this one here seems to be that if the federal government ... gave money for the causeway there'd be nothing left for the sewage treatment plant—that's absolutely false.' —Daniel LeBlanc, Petitcodiac Riverkeeper
She said Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Robert Goguen told council at a recent meeting to choose a top project for federal money.
Seamans said $120 million worth of upgrades to the sewage treatment plant easily bumped out the $40 million it would cost to replace the causeway as the number one project for the town.
"If we're going to be going after the federal government for money that's certainly where we're going."
Seamans said upgrades to the sewage treatment plant must be completed by 2020, while a bridge can be built at any time.
"It is a very big concern, like we don't have the final cost, but obviously it's going to have to be made up by the three communities — the only way in order for our water sewage treatment is to get the money from our citizens so that's a fair chunk of money," Seamans said.
Daniel LeBlanc, the head of Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, was disappointed by the vote.
"The fact that the council, for the third time in a decade, has decided to go against the wishes of the people of Riverview is very disappointing," said LeBlanc.
Petitcodiac Riverkeeper has already received support from both Dieppe City Council and Moncton City Council to lobby the federal government to come through with $40 million for a new bridge.
Moncton city councillors voted in favour of the federal government replacing the causeway with a bridge despite a newly-released report showing a bridge could increase the risk of floods in the region.
LeBlanc said he believes most people in Riverview have evolved on the issue, but some still have ideas from the past century that are based in fear.
"Fear makes you make different decisions in life and this one here seems to be that if the federal government ... gave money for the causeway there'd be nothing left for the sewage treatment plant — that's absolutely false," said LeBlanc.