December 05, 2013 - 1:30 PM
VERNON - It’s unknown how long it will be before Greater Vernon goes to referendum on a new art gallery and upgraded museum.
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee pulled back from a proposed spring 2014 vote at a meeting this week after it came to light that projected costs are somewhat higher than they initially appeared.
According to a consultant for the regional district, the total estimated price tag for a new art gallery and renovated museum is $35 million, considerably higher than the $17 million previously pitched in discussions. Greater Vernon politicians now want more time to gather information.
“We specified in our initial estimate that it didn’t include soft costs and land acquisition,” executive director for the Vernon Public Art Gallery Dauna Kennedy Grant says. “The number revealed today in the consultants report had a lot more items that were never included in ours. We were talking about the building itself.”
Kennedy Grant still hopes to go to referendum before competing matters, like the upcoming municipal elections, come into play.
“We’d like to highlight arts and culture on its own,” Kennedy Grant says. “We’d like it to be a standalone referendum.”
The art gallery is actively working with regional district staff to explore the concept and its costs. No new referendum date has been set yet.
“We just want to work with (the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee) to put together the best facility for the community. If that means delaying it to the fall, we can look at that.... It may be moving a bit slower than we were hoping but it’s moving.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013