September 05, 2013 - 2:24 PM
VERNON - A last minute push to hold a referendum sooner than later has convinced local politicians to put the art gallery and museum on a ballot next spring.
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee was sitting on a recommendation to postpone the referendum for as long as two years in order to gather information, but the art gallery wasn't willing to wait.
"Arts and culture have been on the back burner for too long," executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant says.
At the 11th hour, the art gallery came before the committee and presented all the research that is already available.
"We were able to show them all the background work that has been done," Kennedy Grant says. "The recommendation to have staff get more information would have been wasteful on taxpayer dollars."
Kennedy Grant wants to see the art gallery put on the platform no later than next spring, so it isn't overshadowed by upcoming municipal elections. She says the current cost estimate is up to $7 million for a new art gallery and up to $10 million for a renovated museum.
"That's probably on the high end," she says.
In a 5-2 vote Thursday morning, committee members voted to support a spring 2014 referendum.
"It's a very ambitious timeline," Kennedy Grant says. "We have a lot of work to do in terms of solidifying our support base. We'll be out there in the community talking to the public and answering questions."
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This story was edited at 3p.m. to say the cost of a new art gallery is estimated at $7 million.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013