The Town of Golden is taking steps to look at the future of Wixon House.
Several years ago Ruth Wixon bequeathed the property, now know as Wixon House, to the Town of Golden. The Town established a municipal bylaw in 1994 that stated the building was a municipal heritage site.
Even though the town created the bylaw to make it a municipal heritage site Town of Golden CAO, Jon Wilsgard, said this means little in the eyes of the province.
Wilsgard said the bylaw basically ensured that nobody could do anything with the building to change the structure.
“What we have lacked, for better or worse, is that other than this bylaw there has been no strategic plan for the building or property by council,” he said. “In the absence of formal policy over the past number of years, the Wixon house has been de facto managed by the administration and a couple of partners.”
The partners Wilsgard talked about are the Golden Food Bank Society and the Golden Historical Society.
“The gardens have been kept by the Golden Food Bank Society to have a community garden,” he said. “The building has had the interest of the Golden Historical Society. Nothing has been established in stone with either of these organizations with the town. This year what we are faced with is that we have a limited budget for the Wixon property.”
Over the past few years the Town of Golden has funded a student to be at the site to give tours during the summer. Wilsgard explained that during budget deliberation Golden town council decided not to fund a student for the purpose of the historical society to maintain an interpretive program at the house.
Wilsgard did add that this is a building that tells a part of the story of the community and it is important to save pieces of the history in the town where possible.
“The one thing we have been approved by council for, and I think this will lead up to some strategic decisions for the property, is to do a facility assessment. If we are going to keep it as is, it is going to cost money,” he said.
Wilsgard said based off of the assessment, it is his hope to have a directive from council of what the future of the property will be.