Sharon Gaetz

Sharon Gaetz

OBSERVATORY: Fraser Valley Regional District won’t intervene

Fraser River Heritage Park is owned by the FVRD. However, an agreement gives Mission control of the site.

The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) will not interfere with the District of Mission’s plan to tear down the observatory structure and re-purpose the building materials.

That’s according to Sharon Gaetz, chair of the FVRD board and mayor of Chilliwack.

Fraser River Heritage Park, where the observatory is located, is owned by the FVRD. However, there is an agreement in place that gives Mission control of the site.

Some supporters of the observatory, including former Mission mayor Ted Adlem, had suggested that the district did not have the right to tear down the property because they didn’t own the park.

But Gaetz said that argument is not valid.

“We have an agreement with them (Mission) that extends beyond 2030 and they have full management of the park. That’s our agreement,” explained Gaetz.

She said it might be a little bit painful for everyone to go through this process, but it’s well within the district’s rights.

“It really isn’t an area where the Fraser Valley Regional District will intervene in anyway. We wouldn’t interfere in the day-to-day running of the park.”

Gaetz said it is “probably very disappointing for the people who wanted it. On the other hand, for the others, it’s very difficult for them to maintain something that they feel they can’t.”

Once the issue has finally been dealt with, Gaetz is hopeful the district will carry on and manage the park well.