‘Keep the wheel of the Grist Mill turning’

Letter to the Editor written by W. Mennell

For the Grist Mill Foundationabout Grist Mill RFP.

  • Jan. 28, 2015 5:00 p.m.

No word yet for current manager of the Grist Mill Chris Mathieson on whether the contract on the historical site will be renewed by the province.

To the Editor:

 

The popular Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos are in serious trouble and, sadly, the core of the matter seems to be political indifference.

The Grist Mill, a provincially designated heritage site, has been operating under a series of short-term contracts with no long-term commitment from the Province. Bidding for future contract operation of this site closed last September. Four months later the Minister has announced no decision. (Steve Thompson is the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, including Heritage Sites.)

“If someone else has proposed a better idea we ought to know about it by now. The bidding process ended last September” says Grist Mill Foundation Chairman, Dave Cursons.

The Keremeos Grist Mill and Gardens is a community asset and a significant driver for the area. However, no business commitments, bookings, event plans, grant applications or staffing decisions can be made for the site for the coming season.

The incumbent operator, Chris Mathieson has brought new energy to the site. In 2013 and 2014 there has been a phenominal growth in visitation driven by special events, more frequent interpretive tours, evening concerts, and talks by special guests on everything from bee keeping to bird watching. The Mill’s gardens have become a favorite site for artists and photographers whose work is for sale in the Visitor’s Centre Gift Shop.

“Designated historic sites like Barkerville and Fort Steele have found some independence but still rely upon very considerable government support,” says Cursons.

A win-win solution in the case of the Keremeos Grist Mill and Gardens would have the province gradually reduce its financial contribution while enabling the site to flourish through energetic and capable management.

Government should live up to its stewardship responsibility for the Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos and support the preservation of this historic site as a heritage treasure for all British Columbians.

We urge Minister Thompson to accept the government’s responsibility and to immediately award a long-term contract necessary to “keep the wheel of the Grist Mill turning.”

Any inquiries may be directed to the Grist Mill Foundaiton Chairman, Dave Cursons, at 250-499-5417.

 

W. Mennell

For the Grist Mill Foundation

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Freestyle motocross riders bring death-defying tricks to SOEC

Freestyle Motocross World Tour is coming to the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton

South Okanagan emergency department closing overnight

Limited physician availability temporarily closes emergency at South Okanagan General Hospital

Hearts and Hands conference to celebrate health care assistants

The Victoria-based WorkSafeBC conference is happening in Penticton on Oct. 17

Weekend activities to take care of your FOMO

See what’s going on the region this weekend

Video: Okanagan Fest of Ale Society doles out $60,000

The society has given out over $60,000 to Penticton and area not-for-profits since 1996

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Experts gather to discuss Okanagan water needs

Kelowna environmental water flows conference Oct. 17-18 has global reach

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Most Read