District of Kent CAO Wallace Mah accepts a commemorative pin from Mayor Sylvia Pranger, marking 35 years of service in a management capacity. He was given the honour during the August 17 District Council meeting. (Adam Louis/Observer)

KENT COUNCIL: Agassiz Museum seeks lighting improvements after vandalism, break-in

Museum staff sought funding for parking lot lights

For the second monthly meeting in a row, the Agassiz-Harrison Museum and its parking lot have entered the municipal spotlight.

During the District of Kent Council meeting on Monday (August 17), the council approved up to $2,500 for district staff to explore ways to light the museum parking lot following vandalism and break-ins.

According to the staff report from director of community services and projects Jennifer Thornton, volunteers from the Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society saw that the speeder and caboose located at the front of the museum were broken into with the alleged perpetrators leaving used syringes behind. The break-in was in late July, leaving behind significant damage to the caboose and speeder doors.

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This incident prompted museum manager Charlotte Murray to ask council for the funding for parking lot lights in an effort to enhance safety and security in addition to protecting the outdoor artifacts.

The original proposal asked for up to $10,000 – roughly $5,000 per light – to pay for lighting, which would be erected on two poles close to both ends of the rail cars in front of the museum. Coun. Stan Watchorn suggested instead of traditional pole lights that the museum could consider motion-activated lights placed on the vehicles themselves to ward off would-be vandals

In other Kent council business, Mayor Sylvia Pranger declared September to be Literacy Month. The district will partner with the Agassiz Library as well as Agassiz-Harrison Community Services to “raise awareness of the importance of literacy for all British Columbians” and to educate the public on the literacy-advocating organizations and programs in the area. For more information concerning the youth and adult literacy programs, contact AHCS at literacy@agassizcs.ca.

RELATED: District of Kent Council delivers COVID-19 updates

Mayor Pranger and council honoured CAO Wallace Mah by presenting him with a commemorative pin. The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) recently honoured CAO Mah for 35 years of service in a management position.

“I think that having the opportunity to serve communities is a great privilege,” Mah said to the council and attending public. “Working with municipal leaders and fulfilling objectives for communities gives me great satisfaction.”

Prior to their regular council meeting, the council held three public meetings concerning three land use change proposals for 1800 Cameron Road from resource management to agriculture. The council voted 3-2 in favour of amending 1865 Agassiz Avenue and 1879 Agassiz Avenue being rezoned from single dwelling residential 1 to single dwelling residential 2; this would allow for the potential of more housing units in the area. Couns. Stan Watchorn and Duane Post opposed. The motion died to amend three properties on Vimy Road – addresses at 1627, 1645 and 1657 – from single dwelling residential 1 to single dwelling residential 2.

The council is seeking provincial support for their agricultural plastics recycling program. Since the program began, the district has recycled more than 406,000 pounds of agricultural plastics.

The council held a virtual meet and greet with the members of the recently elected Seabird Island Council on July 28.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for September 14 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Hall in Agassiz.

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