Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Proposed Turcott/Bank of Commerce addition to KBPV discussed again at Town Council meeting

Justine Jorgensen

The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society (PCDHS) has been planning to add the 110 year-old Turcott/Bank of Commerce building to the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV) collection. The first proposed location was received with much displeasure from some of those who live close to the museum, who indicated their position at a Town Council meeting held July 28, 2014. A new location was suggested. PCDHS President Colleen Cyr attended a later Town Council meeting on Monday August 25 to reveal the response of many of the public on the new site.

Cyr explained that after the initial Council meeting, KBPV had an Open House. "Four members of the delegation that were here at the Council meeting came to the Open House, and we started off at the old location. We had it taped off, and the ones that were there were most distressed, thinking that that was our plan, was to keep putting it there," Cyr explained. "I had a lot of questions like, 'How can you not even think about our feelings?' and definitely very unhappy with that location, and I just said 'Okay. They have a second location.'" Cyr then showed the group the new site. "They were thrilled. Actually there was no issues at all. I was so happy it just went so easy. And we talked about the location and they again said how much they enjoy the gardens, and being neighbours to the historical society, and they were just really happy that we were able to come up with another plan for the location." Cyr had discussed this alternate location after the delegation left the council chambers on the 28.

Turcott building

"At this minute I had no issues at all," Cyr said. "I felt like it was just a win-win-win, it was just a really good feeling, good situation."

Although that is one issue that has been resolved, not all the uneasiness has been eradicated. Diane LePard lives nearby to the museum and she attended the August 25 Council meeting to voice some unhappiness. "We didn't know soon enough. I didn't realize, I hadn't opened my mail." She explained that the residents along the block had not been notified soon enough of the plan for the new building, and she wished the Council would have slowed down the process in order to give the neighbours enough time. "The residents of Pincher Creek, the residents were there first, we will be there last. We will be there when everybody's so tired of the museum that they can't find people - we will still be there. So I guess you maybe have to give us more time." It was explained that the project is time-sensitive.  Mayor Don Anderberg thanked LePard for coming and said the Council would take a look at it. "I hear you. I agree that it is pretty short [notice]."

LePard also indicated concern for the potential of an added fire hazard, as the new building is old and made of wood, and there is another building on the grounds that is heated by a wood stove during the winter. "Are you going to put fire hydrants in there? I think you should, you know." Anderberg mentioned that each building on the grounds has its own fire extinguisher; Councillor Tammy Rubbelke also explained that the museum must work with the Pincher Creek Fire Department to develop a fire plan. "They're not only worried about the residents around there, they're worried about the loss of their buildings, the loss of their artifacts," she said. "So the fire chief is actually working (with KBPV) extensively."

During the meeting, Anderberg said, "I want to thank you again Colleen for going above and beyond to go and notify the neighbors as a good neighbor, and I want to thank you, Diane, and your group for coming forward and stating your case, and I want to thank both of you for working together. I think that's the most important thing, we've worked together to get things worked out to the satisfaction of everybody."

Related story:
KBPV hopes to add another historic building to collection (update)

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