Osoyoos voters approve museum

The history of Osoyoos will no longer have to live in the archival room in Oliver.

The history of Osoyoos will no longer have to live in the archival room in Oliver.

Osoyoos residents have voted in favour of acquiring a building and land on Main Street for the museum to move into at a referendum held on Saturday. The referendum to authorize a loan to acquire lands to construct a new Osoyoos museum received 619 yes votes to 462 no votes. The vote authorizes the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen to borrow up to $1.26 million for the project. The direct cost to local homeowners via property taxes is estimated to be approximately $21 annually.

“We really appreciate the support from the community. It is a difficult thing to ask a community to approve a significant amount of capital expenditure these days but the museum was sorely in need of a  new home. We have a remarkable collection for a small community but the 57-year-old curling rink was just playing hob with the collection. The new, more permanent facility is going to be a real boon because it will be more visible, more accessible, the collection will be safer and we are really pleased with the outcome,” said Museum Society director Mat Hassen. “There was no environmental control in the main part of the current museum and as a result some of the items have suffered from it. In fact, we have had to rely on the Oliver archives to preserve some of our documents because they weren’t safe in our facility.”

RDOS Area A director Mark Pendergraft, the Museum Society directors along with town council worked to secure a new location for the museum. Its current home not only offered inadequate conditions for the museum, it also is situated on prime waterfront property that is identified by the town for redevelopment as parkland in the approved Waterfront Master Plan. Hassen said the arrangements are that the property will transfer to the town and regional district on Sept. 1. The current tenants will have their lease extended for one year to allow time to build their new facility.

“It also allows us time to raise the money to do the redevelopment in the building,” said Hassan, explaining that environment control in the proposed archive room and a lift are needed. “That we are absolutely positive we can handle, it will not be additional taxpayer expense. There are matching grants and support programs out there that we will be eligible for. We are quite optimistic that we are going to be able to handle all of that ourselves.”

Council and Pendergraft successfully negotiated an offer to purchase the Home Building Centre on Main Street and an adjacent property from Gaertner Holdings for $1.525 million. Additional property surrounding the building will be used for 22 public parking spaces and an outdoor area for an urban park and display area for the museum. Two lots purchased by the town, within the scope of the deal, have been identified by council as sites for future affordable housing development. Purchase of the two adjoining lots will proceed with the use of the town reserve funds.

“The museum in this proposed site will benefit Osoyoos and area as a tourist attraction, allowing our local history to be showcased proudly and with class,” said Pendergraft.

 

Just Posted

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Rollover closes road

No serious injuries reported in a rollover off South Main in Penticton

Raven story shines light at Children’s Showcase

Season opener of the Children’s Showcase in Penticton

Student leadership conference hits home

Nearly 500 Grade 5 students taking part in leadership conference in Penticton

Penticton dancers headed to Germany for world championship

Penticton dancers representing Canada at World Dance Championships

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Have you heard about Black Press scholarships?

Up to 37 scholarships are awarded each year to students throughout British Columbia

Most Read