A memorandum agreement is being signed with between the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Friendship Society for the longhouse at the Stampede Grounds to be used as temporary COVID-19 quarantine housing if needed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

City drafts agreement for Longhouse as temporary COVID quarantine housing

The Cariboo Friendship Society owns the building and leases property from the city

The City of Williams Lake will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Cariboo Friendship Society for the Longhouse to be used as temporary COVID-19 quarantine housing if needed.

Council approved a draft agreement at its regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 17, adding the use of housing on the premises to be permitted through to May 31, 2021.

“They own the longhouse, but they lease the property at the Stampede Grounds from the city,” said Mayor Walt Cobb. “Hopefully it won’t be needed, but as long as we are prepared, that’s the main thing.”

Williams Lake city council approved a draft agreement during the regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 17 after receiving a report from deputy corporate officer Rena Schill.

At the July 14, 2020 council meeting, Rosanna McGregor, executive director for the CFS, and Matthew Camirand from BC Housing, presented a proposal requesting authorization to use the Longhouse and area for temporary COVID housing, should a safe location be needed for persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to quarantine if a pandemic outbreak occurs in the region over the coming months.

Read more: Longhouse proposed for possible COVID-19 housing in Williams Lake

At this meeting, they presented sample images of proposed temporary outbuildings to be installed for bathroom/shower facilities as may be required. Council supported and approved this proposal in principle.

The Longhouse has yet to be used for the purpose, but with the increased of cases in B.C. an agreement will allow the CFS to provide the service if necessary.

There are a total of six tenants leasing parts of the Stampede Grounds from the city.

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