Council helps museum with contract costs

By on May 27, 2015

Even though the Osoyoos Museum won’t be moving into its new home until the spring of 2020 – three years longer than initially planned – there’s still plenty of work to do and money to raise.

That was the message from Mat Hassen, chair of the Osoyoos Museum Society board of directors, during a presentation to Town of Osoyoos council on Monday last week.

While still disappointed with the fact that council passed a motion last month asking the board with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) to extend the lease with the Home Building Centre until the end of 2019, Hassen said that won’t stop the museum board from making plans and raising funds for its new home.

Last week, the RDOS board supported the motion by chair Mark Pendergraft to extend the lease for the Home Building Centre until the fall of 2019.

The Osoyoos Museum board was preparing to take possession of the current Home Building Centre building next October, however, that all changed when longtime owner Paul McCann announced almost two months ago that he was planning to close the business at the end of November.

This was 10 months earlier than McCann had originally intended to close the town’s only lumber and home supplies store. It would have also meant the loss of 16 full-time jobs in Osoyoos.

After several years of planning to take over possession of its new home, the museum board had no choice but to accept council’s decision and move forward with plans to take possession of its new home in the spring of 2020, said Hassen.

During his presentation to council last week, Hassen said the museum board has signed a contract with a grant writer responsible for seeking funding from senior levels of government and another contract with an expert in redesigning museum exhibits.

“Some of the funding we are after we continue to search for now,” said Hassen. “Much of the work we still have to do continues now. Much of the work can’t be left for two or three years from now and must continue.”

Hassen asked council to provide $42,000 in funding so it can fulfill its contractual obligations with these employees.

“These are binding contracts,” he said.

David Jensen, the expert hired to put together new exhibits for the museum, can complete 90 per cent of his work before the museum board takes official possession of the building in 2020, said Hassen.

Mayor Sue McKortoff thanked Hassen and all museum board members for continuing to volunteer their time to make sure everything is in place once they move into their new home.

Members of council unanimously approved providing the $42,000 in funding to the museum board.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

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