GuelphToday received the following letter from Dr. Sandra McCormick to Mayor Guthrie regarding the proposed relocation of the new library:
Dear Mayor Guthrie
As a concerned citizen of Guelph, resident for almost 40 years, I want to let the mayor, my ward six representatives and the entire council and city planning department know that I am strongly in favour of a new library, as discussed, debated on and decided by a vote of city council.
One year ago city council passed a motion for the desperately needed new library with a funding plan in place. There is absolutely no justification for debating the decision to build a new library further. In 2019 council voted 9-4 in favour of:
Building a new library as part of the Baker Street development
Providing a budget of $67.1 million
Designing for 88,000 square feet of space
The issue at hand should only be to relocate the library within the Baker Street development as a stand-alone building. It must not be used as a strategy to either postpone or, at worst, shelve what has already been agreed upon as a need and a benefit for our city.
Past arguments have concluded that the current library is inadequate in all ways including space for holdings, technology, and accessibility. The building itself, now over 50 years old, is a liability with regards to accessibility and the existence of asbestos.
A new library is not an expense but an economic benefit to our city. The actual cost to taxpayers has been estimated at current population figures to be less than 15 dollars per year per household over a period of twenty years.
Person visits to the main library a year number in the vicinity of 350,000. Of those visitors 75 per cent shop or carry out other business downtown providing a measurable economic benefit to our city, estimated as high as over nine million dollars annually.
All of this information was cogently presented during debate when the decision was passed by council to build a new library as an integral part of the Baker St. development. I ask our council to maintain all of the parameters agreed upon and voted for by more than 50% of our city council in 2019.