Agreement includes stipulations
A new library for Truro and area will go in the old Normal College.
TRURO - Colchester County will honour a funding commitment for a new regional library provided the library board gets to sign off on a final building design.
That is the recommendation that Council Committee approved in principle Thursday night and which will be forwarded to the next council meeting.
The recommendation also stipulates that any additional costs that may arise during the construction of the new library are to be borne entirely by the Town of Truro.
“You can’t start taking things out (of the proposed design) in order to save money, Councillor Karen MacKenzie said, of the county’s position. “If it costs $15 million, that is up to the town.”
After much delay and several split votes between the county and town representatives on the library’s site selection committee, Truro Council recently decided a new facility will be constructed at the formal Normal College building, as opposed to the old hat factory on West Prince Street.
The cost of construction has been set at $7.1 million. Of that figure, Colchester County is planning to pay 40 per cent of the cost, to a maximum of $2.2 million, based on a space consisting of 18,750 sq. ft.
The county will also be responsible for paying 40 per cent of the operating costs for the facility, based on the same square-footage percentage.
The three county representatives on the library committee (Mayor Bob Taylor and councillors Karen MacKenzie and Geoff Stewart) all favoured the hat factory as the best choice for a new library, in large part because library officials said that site would best meet their needs. However, they said the time has come to move forward with a decision and in the spirit of community co-operation, they recommended that council agree to the previous funding commitment, provided the library board is completely in favour of the final design.
“We can walk (away from their commitment), that’s an option” Taylor said.
But the citizens of the community deserve to have the issue put to rest, he added, and while the Normal College is not his first choice from a structural perspective, it is the best location for a new library.
“I think it’s the right place,” Taylor said.