Williams Lake City council has endorsed in principle the Cariboo Heritage Park Society’s request for a Heritage Park to be established on the upper level of the Stampede grounds known as Pinchbeck Park.
A document from an in-camera report shows that Council had moved and seconded the recommendation in principle on November 21.
Mayor Walt Cobb says it had all started with regards to the 153 Mile Store that was donated to the City by the Patenaude family.
“We hired the consultant and they picked out 5 different sites I think it was. One was at the Tourism Discovery Centre, one was the Stampede Grounds, one was the Station House, and one, of course, was at beside the old Museum which is not there anymore because that’s where the care facility is going to be. So the group got together, they formed their Society, and they felt their choice is the Stampede grounds at Pinchbeck Park.”
President of the Cariboo Heritage Park Society Anita Crosina explains that she had spearheaded the Society following the consultant’s proposal and recommendations as nothing had happened.
“I was talking to Cobb one day and he said that he had been talking to the Patenaude boys and a couple other people that were interested on working on it and I said who’s doing what? He said so far nothing. So he said Anita, why don’t you get a hold of these people and see what you can do. So I did.”
The Society that formed in September currently has 8 members who Crosina says are all thinking the same way and are excited about it.
“Our long-range plan is not just getting the Store relocated but it’s also having a heritage village, something like what is at the 108 so we have it where we can lease parts of it. We’re hoping to have picnic tables and benches where people can come and eat their lunch. In the future maybe a little coffee shop or even a restaurant.”
“We’re not sure what else might be there yet,” she adds. “We’re not that far along yet.”
Cobb says it will now be up to the Society to come up with a business plan to move the Park forward.
“Their idea is to get the Societies Act done so they can start fundraising.”
The Heritage Park according to Crosina will be an ongoing fundraising project.
“That’s how we have to raise the money. The City is not in the position to give us a couple million bucks or whatever it ends up we’re going to need,” she says.