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Press Release - Town of Osoyoos and RDOS consider New Location for Osoyoos Museum
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Osoyoos Museum could have a new place to call home if Town Council, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) and Osoyoos Museum Society are successful in gaining community support for the project through a referendum process. The Museum plays an important role in the community through its contribution to the preservation and promotion of local history and tourism development.
Community referendum on relocation may occur as early as May 2011
Town Council has been working with Area “A” Director Mark Pendergraft and the Museum Society directors to secure a new location for the Museum, as the former curling rink where it is currently housed offers inadequate conditions for the community icon. The current location is also situated on prime waterfront property that is identified for redevelopment as parkland in the approved Waterfront Master Plan.
The Osoyoos Museum Society currently receives operational support from both the Town and the RDOS.
Council and Area "A" Director Pendergraft have taken advantage of an opportunity to provide this important community icon with a new facility by successfully negotiating an offer to purchase the Home Building Centre building on Main Street and adjacent property from Gaertner Holdings for a purchase price of $1,525,000.
Two lots purchased by the Town, within the scope of the deal, have been identified by Council as sites for future affordable housing development. If the referendum is successful, purchase of the 2 adjoining lots will proceed with the use of Town reserve funds.
“Council is excited about the opportunity to partner with the rural citizens and jointly move forward to create a spacious and well-located new home for the Museum and its artifacts while at the same time increasing our park land inventory”, said Mayor Stu Wells.
“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,” commented Area “A” Director Mark Pendergraft. “I hope the community will actively support the referendum with their vote”.
New business and facility plans have recently been developed by the Museum Society to facilitate the replacement of the current building. The new location will allow the Society to effectively preserve and present community history while playing an active role in the future economic development of the community.
If the referendum is accepted, the direct cost to local homeowners via property taxes is estimated to be approximately $21 annually.
This accepted purchase is subject to several sale conditions including the successful establishment of a service area and passing of service area referendum that will enable borrowing to make the purchase.
“Council is aware of the magnitude of the decision and is looking forward to the outcome of a community referendum process”, states Wells.
Prior to the holding of a referendum, legislative documents must be developed and approved by the RDOS. In addition, the Provincial government must also approve the needed bylaws. A referendum must be held within 80 days of bylaw approval. The target timing for the referendum is late May or early June.
The Osoyoos Museum could have a new place to call home if Town Council, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) and Osoyoos Museum Society are successful in gaining community support for the project through a referendum process. The Museum plays an important role in the community through its contribution to the preservation and promotion of local history and tourism development.
For further information, please contact:
Mayor Stu Wells Mat Hassen Mark Pendergraft
Town of Osoyoos Director, Museum Society Area “A” Director
T: 250.495.6515 T: 250.495.4950 T: 250.485.2289
E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town of Osoyoos is a vibrant community of approximately 5,000 people at the crossroads of Highways 3 and 97 in the South Okanagan Valley, near the U.S. border. It has a unique desert environment, the nation’s warmest lake and climate, and is home to thriving fruit orchards, vineyards, wineries, golf courses, year-round tourism facilities, and many small businesses. Osoyoos offers “Canada’s warmest welcome”.
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