The problem with Meaford's library lies with the Library Board, not the Town Council.
Meaford could have had a new and better library in the old Amerock office building four years ago, in 2008 (Note: I own SCP Properties, which encompasses the Scott Clay Products building on Cook Street).
As was reported on the front page of the Express on June 18, 2008, SCP Properties had an agreement with the town to relocate the library to this building. This fell apart because of a disagreement between the library board and the town council. We also made a proposal to the library in 2009 that the former CEO was strongly in favour of. The problem leading to this proposal failing was that the board wanted a lavish, newly built library and weren't willing to retrofit a current building.
The problem with the new proposal by the board to relocate to the Meaford harbour is that it will cost approximately $4-5 million, and at best, will not be completed for several years. My understanding is that a new library is needed now. In our current financially troubled world and with no location chosen or paid for, no agreement with council and no money raised or allocated, a new build library is not an imminent reality.
We maintain that our proposal to relocate to the former Amerock office building is still the best option. Located centrally next to Meaford community school, in a residential neighbourhood, this building provides 15,000 square feet of space on two floors.
It is also only one block from the desired waterfront. The entrance is currently wheelchair accessible and an elevator can be added for access to the second floor. Ample parking is available and there is plenty of excess space for future expansion or alternative programs the library offers. With renovations under $500,000, this building meets all the requirements put forward by the board.
There is no contamination at the proposed site, no mold or any other problem present. Two feasibility studies were completed in 2008. Meaford needs to start retrofitting existing buildings like this one, rather than proposing new builds in less than ideal locations.
As a library patron, supporter, board chairman for four years and long time Meaford resident, I suggest that an inexpensive and improved library is a far better choice than another brand-new building built at the taxpayer's expense.
Terry Scott, Meaford
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