The province continues to move ahead with its plans to lease out the Grist Mill property if they can find a willing applicant by the end of their Request For Proposal on September 26.
Members of the Grist Mill Foundation are adamant the values associated with the restored and running 1877 water driven flour mill remain intact as a social and economic asset for the Lower Similkameen and for the larger region.
The foundation also expects the province to continue to operate the mill site as a designated provincial historic site.
The province is looking for a business plan for the mill that would see declining or elimination of goverment funding for the site.
It was agreed at the meeting by directors and MLA Larson the site is best operated as a heritage business concern as it currently is with the present operator, Chris Mathieson.
The Grist Mill Foundation has lately been seeking charitable status with the charities directorate of Customs and Revenue Canada.
The foundation is also considering adding a business goal to their mandate that would see them work towards becoming business manager for the property.
The directors of the Grist Mill Foundation meet next on September 18.
A letter of support endorsing present operator Chris Mathieson was also prepared and sent to the Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations by the Village of Keremeos. The letter noted that Mathieson “has garnered tremendous support from throughout the Similkameen Valley and has transformed the Grist Mill heritage gardens into meeting place and focus point for our communities.”
A copy of the letter was also sent to MLA Linda Larson.