(Photo credit KRACL)

(Photo credit KRACL)

News From Kootenay Regional Association for Community Living

Spectrum Farm continues to grow.

Following the closure of this facility in the 1990’s, there was much discussion amongst the board members of what to do with this property.

The Endicott Centre served as a centre for the East and West Kootenays for individuals with mental challenges since 1965. The Property consists of several parcels of land accessed from Erickson Road and Highway 21. After several years of consideration of selling no acceptable offers were forthcoming.

With the arrival of Eric Kutzner to the board, consideration was given to develop and revitalize the property for the benefit of individuals with disabilities providing housing and employment. The first priority was to repair the buildings to usable shape. Under the guidance and supervision of Mr. Kutzner with a number of volunteers, much work was done upgrading the buildings.

Mr Kutzner has been successful in obtaining a large amount of grant money in the upgrading of buildings, especially The Rosewood building has been undergoing a complete restoration with a new roof, construction of a food processing plant in the basement, cold storage for vegetables, a bakery and an installation of a carder mill for processing wool.

Plans for a small engine repair shop and woodworking shop are in the plans. Upstairs has seen the creation of a store and a coffee shop. Further to this, an office for management, a boardroom and an education and training room has also been constructed. The remaining space on the upper floor is under construction to facilitate space for social services organizations. The Cedar Linden buildings are slated to be replaced with a 9 apartment building, a project which has been under discussion with the British Columbia Housing Authority.

The Society is expecting final approval at the end of January. Construction will start as soon as approval is forthcoming. The KRACL organization is excited about the opportunity to provide housing to low-income individuals with disabilities. The Archibald building has undergone extensive renovation to accommodate plans for agritourism promotion as well as Bed and Breakfast Services.

Presently the building is providing housing for individuals with disabilities. Due to the closure of Cedar Linden,the small building next to Archibald House formerly the office building has been renovated and serves as a residence for one occupant. The south end of the property serves as land for the Therapeutic Riding organization. This organization operates under the jurisdiction of the Creston and District Society for Community Living. Spectrum Farms has created an extensive market gardening operation which provides employment during Spring- Summer- Fall for a number of workers with disabilities.

The farm also provides employment for one individual on a permanent basis supervising chicken-egg production. Eggs are sold at the store on the premises.

The farm has been actively operating a sheep business for 3 years selling wool and lamb to augment the income of the farm. KRACL plans to continue with their enterprise to serve individuals with housing and employment needs. The Board of the society is most grateful to all the volunteers, employees and organizations who have made this enterprise successful. Special appreciation goes to Eric and Donna Kutzner for their extraordinary contribution to this facility over the past five years, without them there would be no Spectrum Farms.

The store is open in the winter Tues, Thurs, Sat 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.