I’m concerned over Mission Council’s decision to dismantle the Mission observatory. I have read over the same reports that were submitted to council and feel that they have made an error in judgment.
In terms of contributions to date for the building it includes volunteer hours, provincial government grant of $100,000 and the Rotary Club contribution adding up to a total of approximately $250,000. How can the council be prepared to dismiss these contributions? The previous council supported this project as did a local service club which is known for its support of worthwhile projects.
In my opinion, there is nothing identified in the reports that would justify the outright dismissal and dismantling of the building. While there are some issues, things like the revenue projection in the business plan, it is open to interpretation – just because Okanagan Science Centre uses $5 a visit per student as opposed to the Mission Observatory plan to use $10 doesn’t mean it won’t work.
I think one visit a year to a special place like an observatory would be something a parent would find an extra $5 for. The site of the observatory is not ideal but you work with what you have.
There is no reason that the observatory will become a financial burden on the city. Costs are open to interpretation. There are other sources of funding available. If one has creativity and commitment there is no problem that can’t be solved.
There may be some local people including myself who would consider adding an amendment to their wills to allow for a financial legacy to the observatory. There is also an independent charitable organization, the Vancouver Foundation, who have extensive funding available to worthwhile community projects.
I encourage council to reconsider their decision. This will show true leadership and respect for the volunteers, and the generous donations. There are many committed people who are prepared to continue to support this worthwhile project, so it’s not going to fade away.