Support for preserving Orchard House far from unanimous

Those opposed to the retention of the old Orchard House are now coming out of the woodwork.

There’s two sides to every debate.

While Salmon Arm city council has primarily heard from people seeking to preserve the former Orchard House building, those opposed to its retention are now coming out of the woodwork.

In response to citizens’ concerns about the planned demolition of the building at 72022nd St. NE, across from the recreation centre, city council agreed to a delay in January. This is to allow the city’s Heritage Commission to conduct an evaluation of the building’s heritage values and for the commission to provide recommendations to council.

At the city council discussion on Jan. 16, Dorothy Rolin listed some of the history of the building, noting that Lt.Colonel Bernard Scott, who served in the Indian Army, built the Colonial style bungalow named Dilkusha in 1914.

Dilkusha was turned into The Orchard House restaurant in the late’70s, later into Mino’s restaurant and, most recently, the Heritage Chop House.

But some citizens have written to council supporting the building’s removal and future expansion of recreation services at the site.

Last November, the city announced its purchase of the one-acre or 4,400 square metre property with the plan to demolish the building and use the site for future expansion of the rec centre, specifically for a new pool.

Doug Hlina, a city resident, says those who want to save the building should be willing to put up funds for that purpose.

“For the people who have objected to the demolition of Orchard House and wanting to preserve the building, they all had an equal opportunity to purchase the property,” he states in a letter to city council. “If tey are so adament about saving this building, let them set up a fund to raise money for its move to another location adn its contiual maintenance. Do not waste my tax dollars on ongoing repairs, maintenace, insurance and secutiry this building will require for years to come.”

Leonard Molberg also writes in support of recreational use.

“When I am old and have outlived my usefulness, I will die and be gone forever. Why can’t old buildings do the same,” says the 72-year-old grandfather of a toddler.

“Let’s build a place for the kids to play. They will pay for it. New is better!”

The issue is set to come back to council on March 27.

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