SAR searching for grant and lease

SAR searching for grant and lease

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Oliver Osoyoos Search and Rescue (OOSAR) is conducting one of its biggest searches to date – a grant-in-aid and a lease agreement from the Town of Oliver.
Land and building committee chair Robert Selsing recently addressed council requesting a grant to help offset the cost of a new building on airport lands near the cadet hangar. The plan is to construct a smaller building similar in design to the hangar, however, the approximate cost is $320,000, which is beyond OOSAR’s budget.
“The lack of major funding opportunities hinders us at the moment,” Selsing said.
But he noted the group has been offered a temporary modular office building free of charge. The building is located in Penticton and requires some aesthetic work, but it gives OOSAR the opportunity to utilize the Oliver airport property.
But the property is not zoned to allow this type of building, so the group is seeking a variance permit.
Selsing said the other stumbling block is the infrastructure, estimated to cost $100,000. The group has applied for a BC Gaming grant of $20,000 to get electrical service to the lot, but it’s requesting additional help from the Town.
Water and gas are located at the edge of the property, requiring only a short distance to be connected. Sewer infrastructure is located at Similkameen Avenue and would need to be extended to the lot as well. Selsing said it would cost $42,000 to connect the sewer system to the property.
The last request OOSAR is making is for the Town to re-consider converting their license of occupation to a new lease agreement.
“The team is uneasy with putting so much financial cost into a project that potentially can be easily taken away as stated in the license,” Selsing said.
Councillor Dave Mattes acknowledged that OOSAR provides a huge benefit to the community. But he agreed the group has more hoops to jump through to convert to a lease agreement.
“It’s not going to be an overnight sensation,” Mattes said.
Municipal Manager Tom Szalay said the $42,000 is beyond the limits of the Town’s grant-in-aid program.
Council made no resolution, but suggested the parties work on converting the license of occupation to a lease first.

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