Guelph to discuss future of $67 million library after missing out on funding from province, feds
KITCHENER -- It's been a hot-button issue in Guelph for more than a year, and Mayor Cam Guthrie calls the latest news about the Guelph library "disappointing."
The city has plans to build a new, $67 million library in its downtown core, but Guthrie said he found out on Tuesday evening that the government funding that the city had applied for was denied.
There's been a lot of debate about the new library, which is slated to be built on Baker Street. While many agree that a new one is needed, it's the $67 million price tag that has caused some concern.
Council voted on the cost in September of 2019, voting in favour of spending the money nine votes to four.
The city had hoped to get some government funding to help pay for it, applying to the Invest in Canada Infrastructure program, which is specific to cultural and recreational funding. The program is a joint agreement between the federal and provincial governments, but Guelph didn't make it to the first stage of the approval process.
"I was working very hard to try to receive as much money as possible from outside of the property tax base," Guthrie explains.
"So that was very disappointing to hear that we weren't successful, because now we've landed a $67 million just on the taxpayers, and that's really what needs to be discussed and debated by council in October whether we move ahead with that."
Guthrie says that staff will prepare a new report in October, breaking down some of the other options on how they can make it work without the government's funding.
That means there's a chance that the cost could change. The mayor also says that city staff will be looking for public input.