Petrolia representatives likely headed back to Discovery board

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Visitors walk through Petrolia Discovery in 2014. The foundation will close the site for the 2016 and take the summer to renovate buildings and walkways

The Town of Petrolia may once again have representatives on the Petrolia Discovery Foundation board.

That from Mayor John McCharles who says talks between the town and the board of the historic site has been going very well and is moving forward.

For a number of years, the town has offered to help the site, which had been having financial difficulties, without much success. After the death of the long-time general manager, the foundation’s board and the town began meeting – keeping details of the talks silent – as they try to chart a course for the future.

McCharles says the foundation’s board is putting together a formal proposal asking for municipal help, which will likely come to the town council Monday, June 22. While McCharles wouldn’t say what might be in the agreement he does say the town will likely have a member at the board table.

“The plan is about reorganization and to set some goals,” he says. “It is to the advantage of everyone.”

“If the town is going to be involved; then it should have someone on the board. If the town’s on the board the town can provide more service to them,” says McCharles. Originally, Petrolia had two representatives on the foundation board but they have not been appointed or welcomed for nearly a decade.

McCharles says there are practical reasons for an alliance including insurance coverage. “Right now… if we sent someone out there to cut grass…there might be an insurance gap; would the town cover them or would Discovery….even the insurance companies can’t decipher that.”