South Peace News
Big Lakes County will pay the full cost to replace the heating and cooling systems in a museum at Kinuso.
At its regular meeting Sept. 23, council approved a motion by Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen to replace the furnace and air conditioning units in Kinosayo Museum after receiving an urgent request.
Cost of the project is estimated at $14,682, stated in a request from Kinosayo Museum Society, says Heather Nanninga, director of corporate services, who presented four options of action.
Council also approved funding up to $20,000, including contingency as part of the motion.
The museum is housed in a building owned by Big Lakes and leased to the museum society, Nanninga says.
“If it’s the county’s building, the county should pay the cost to replace the systems,” Grouard Councillor Fern Welch says.
Killeen echoed her response.
“If it’s our building, we should be responsible for it,” Killeen says.
Nanninga says the project is important.
“It ensures the Big Lakes County’s building is maintained and in proper working order,” Nanninga writes in a report.
“Kinosayo Museum’s collections and exhibits will be maintained.”
The museum society submitted an emergency capital grant application Aug. 10 to inform administration that its building is currently without adequate heating and cooling systems, Nanninga says in a report.
“The existing systems have aged out and parts can no longer be purchased for maintenance and repair,” Nanninga says.
Now, the society will have to upgrade both systems.
In order to do this, the facility’s electrical system must also be upgraded to meet adequate building code.
Last winter, the museum’s alarm system alerted volunteers that the furnaces had failed, Nanninga says.
Due to an inability to obtain parts for these aged furnaces, any repairs are temporary.
“With winter approaching, the furnaces and electrical systems need to be upgraded to avoid loss and/or damages,” Nanninga says.
“The lease agreement is ambiguous as to which party would be ultimately responsible for a major building upgrade such as the furnace system,” Nanninga says.
“But the wording seems to lean more towards the museum society being responsible.”
However, if the building were leased to any external party besides the museum society, the furnace system would be much less complex –likely a furnace only, as opposed to the museum’s need for furnace, air conditioning and humidity control.