Samson V contract renewed

The maintenance and caretaking contract for the Samson V vessel has been renewed for 2014 by the city at a cost of $40,000.

The historic vessel has been maintained by a contracted caretaker at a fixed hourly rate with an annual ceiling of $40,000. A report to council said the current deal will expire Dec. 31 “and it is imperative that there is uninterrupted service in the necessary and ongoing maintenance of the vessel.”

The wooden steam-powered sternwheeler was launched in 1937 and owned by the city since 1980 when it was retired from federal government service. It is docked at the Westminster Quay and used for programming from the New Westminster Museum and Archives.

The report, however, warned that while maintenance in the short term is crucial for the vessel’s preservation, a more comprehensive approach is needed to determine what role the Samson V will play in the long term and what needs to be done to carry out that vision.

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