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LETTER: Chamber’s note on Vernon cultural centre on the mark

Morning Star reader talks Greater Vernon Cultural Centre
Vernon residents agreed in October 2018 to borrow up to $25 million for a cultural centre. (Contributed)

I would like to comment on the positive letter from the president of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and the negative one from Garry Haas concerning the proposed new cultural centre for greater Vernon.

The Chamber president’s letter is right on the mark in terms of moving forward, and quickly, on this project to strengthen the downtown core.

It also reflected the voters’ strong support for this much-needed facility to enhance the presentation of arts and culture in the North Okanagan.

The letter from Mr. Haas seems to be directed to only Vernon City Council members.

The November 2018 referendum was held by the Regional District of North Okanagan and included not only the voters in Vernon, but also the voters in Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C, a much larger catchment than Mr. Haas refers to.

During the period leading up to the November referendum there were detailed reports with financial information, conceptual drawings and the like available for public perusal. Most answers to Mr. Haas’ questions are in those documents.

There has been an unfortunate delay on the new cultural centre.

As a current board member of the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives (GVMA), I am hoping this project can move forward more quickly so that the voters and taxpayers can realize their dream of a combined public art gallery and museum complex in a prime location downtown.

Possibly with a reduction in the scope of the project — and reduced overall cost — this facility could be underway by the end of this year.

This letter reflects my own views on the topic as I do not speak for the GVMA board.

Rod Drennan