Despite a capital budget of $12 million, Quesnel City Council circled back to an old controversy worth $80,000.
Council debated including funding for a backdrop to Quesnel’s gold pan at its current location.
Coun. Ron Paull said he wouldn’t vote in favour of the five-year capital plan if it included the backdrop at its current location, and made a motion to defer the backdrop from council’s plans, and revisit the pan’s location.
Quesnel Council approved moving the gold pan to beside the train station in October of 2019.
It was located at the junction of Highways 97 and 26. After the pan was moved in the summer 2020, it was sanded and repainted.
Paull’s motion was defeated, and council decided to move forward with the $12 million capital plan, including the gold pan backdrop.
The city is in the process of securing a grant which would cover $30,000 of the backdrop’s costs.
Mayor Bob Simpson thought the issue was settled, and encouraged council to “stop dithering” on the gold pan’s location. He said the gold pan’s new location fit in perfectly with the city’s future plans, including a revitalized riverwalk, downtown, and new inter-connector highway.
“We knew there would be costs associated with the move and the pan’s positioning,” Simpson said in response to Paull’s motion. “Let’s get on with it.”
Coun. Scott Elliott said there was a ‘silent majority’ which supported the pan at its current location.
Simpson added when the pan was moved, locations in Lebourdais Park were considered, but were shot down by the museum curator and Billy Barker Days headquarters.
Paull said council was receiving “mixed messages” from organizations situated inside the park.