The Mission Museum is going to receive a new video monitoring system and six-foot black metal fence to keep the building safe from trespassers and vandalism.
Council made the decision last week after considering a previous request, made on July 6, from the Mission District Historical Society. Originally the society asked for a four-foot high fence, but it was decided that a six-foot high structure would be more effective in keeping people off the property at night.
The project is expected to cost the city $20,000 to install, plus $1,260 per year for monitoring services.
The museum, located on Second Avenue, has experienced a lot of damage to the grounds in the past few years. Despite volunteer efforts to beautify the building and grounds, after-hours visitors have caused excessive damage to the site and put some staff at risk.
Drug paraphernalia is often found in the area and many people congregate there at night.
Council was told that, because the museum is on public property, it becomes more difficult to make people move.
Staff indicated that a fence, with a gate that closes, would give the RCMP the ability to tell people to get off the property when the museum is closed.
Coun. Pam Alexis supported the ideas, but said she believed signs have to be posted whenever video surveillance is used.
Coun. Jim Hinds said the new fence should complement the museum.
“I just want the public to know that it will be as visually appealing as you can get,” he said adding it will be in the Edwardian-theme.
The new metal fence will be a simple style with spear points on top of the pickets.
While the proposal should help the museum’s vandalism problems, Mayor Randy Hawes said it doesn’t solve everything.
“We can lock them out, but they aren’t going to leave the area. They’re going to relocate somewhere. So now we are going to have a problem trying to figure out where they are going to go,” said Hawes.
While he doesn’t know where that is, he is hoping the Mission RCMP has some ideas on where and how to relocate the trespassers.
“It should be somewhere where we want them to go, not where they choose to go,” he said.