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October 27, 2017 6:49 pm

Council to Examine Library Entrance Funding Options

Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 6:01 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The entrance to the  Bob Harkins Branch  has been  on a wish list for years,  and this evening,  Council  for the City of Prince George will look  at  three options  on how to  fund  the  $2.4 million dollar project that was  added to the Capital Plan for 2017. 

Staff are recommending  Council approve  borrowing the money  through the Municipal Finance Authority over 20 years.  That option would require elector  consent because of the length of the term.

The  other two options presented by staff are :

  • short term debt – as this would be  five years  maximum,  elector consent is not needed, however,  debt servicing costs in the first year would be over half a million.
  • internal debt, – borrowing from the City’s General  Operating Reserve.   Elector  consent not needed,  but  debt servicing costs  would be higher than if borrowed from  the Municipal Finance Authority.

Council will  also  review the impact of the new  license plate recognition  parking program in downtown Prince George.  As 250News reported last  week ( see previous story),  revenue at off street lots is up,  but  the City will have to  relocate more than 200  monthly parking  clients in order to  update one of its parkades.

Also on the agenda for this evening’s regular meeting,   presentations from  the Communities Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth (CASEY)   and from Volunteer Prince George.

There are two public hearings on the agenda.  One  requests a rezoning on 7th Avenue in order to  construct a 3 storey residential apartment building  that would have 9 units.

The other, requests the closure of  an undeveloped pathway  at one end of Rustad Park off  North Nechako Road so the property  can be consolidated with a neighbouring property.   The price for the pathway  has been pegged  at  $30 thousand dollars.


How about those who use it pay ? I have not stepped foot in the library for decades.. I see no worth in it.. any classes etc can be done elsewhere.. with the internet today there is no use for libraries anymore.. way of the dodo… shut them down..

Once again we (like Monty Python’s flying circus) are going madly off in all directions.

As an example lets look at some of the buildings the city has shut down or proposed to shut down because age and the need for maintenance, made them to costly to keep.

1. Prince George police station on Brunswick Street. 42 years old, and relegated to the scrap heap because of age and maintenance costs.

2. Four Seasons swimming pool. City states that a new pool is required because this pool is too old and to expensive to repair. Age of pool 46 years.

3. Replace fire hall number one because its to old, to small, and to expensive to repair and maintain. Age of fire hall is 60 years old.

The library is 36 years old. If we use the above buildings as a guide then we could say that the library is quickly reaching its end of life. In another 10 it will be older than the Police station, and the same age as the swimming pool.

So the question is why are we putting $2.4 million dollars into an entrance to the library when this building will be in the cross hairs of City Hall as being to old, and to costly to maintain in roughly 10 years time.?? Furthermore why would we borrow this money over a 20 year period when the possibility exists that this building would be considered for replacement before the load is ever paid off.

Orrrrrrr. Is the information that these City buildings are on their last legs and need to be replaced nothing more than excuses to allow us to build new and expensive buildings at the expense of hard working tax payers.

What gaurantee do we have from the City that this library will be around for the next 20 years?. What is the condition of this building in regards to maintenance costs, etc;, and does it warrant putting more money into it.

Seems we have a different criteria for different projects depending on the whats and needs of vested interests, which seems to trump common sense.

    should read *before the loan is paid of, not load*

    Don’t confuse the city with logic

When the streets are all fixed and the infrastructure systems used by the masses are all in good shape and working properly, we can then re-do the library access. I used to go to the library but with the onset of the internet, I can’t say that I have been back there in the last 10 years and really can’t ever see myself going back in there. I think my situation is like most peoples. I can understand libraries in schools and universities but am having a tough time seeing the value of the library to the community on the whole.

    Kids go to the library still, both mine have cards and go to events and check out books I have to pay late fees on… but the safety issue is a simple fix but for some reason city hall likes to grump and moan instead of providing solutions, and when it comes down to solutions they get grandios – happens all the time with this bunch

not just the present but of the past as well, if the city had and does do the proper annual maintenance this would never have been an issue.
They should be budgeting for breakdowns, maintenance and eventual replacement of assets but that never seems to happen.
If they run their homes like they run the city they would be bankrupt in 2 years or less.

Some Libraries have had to re-invent themselves and become more like a community centre and less like a massive book museum. I’m willing to bet that 90% of the books on the shelves at the library haven’t moved in many years. Why do we need such a huge building? If as Palopu supposes, this building will be up for replacement soon, they should scale the size down and cater to a large portion of their clientele who go there to access the free internet.

Add a fee to users of the Library. Does the city realize how many libraries are in town, and why it is a thing of the past? Every school, college and university has one… throw in the ‘internet’ and the public library is a historic artifact, that money should not be thrown at.

    Throw in the internet and one is overwhelmed with “fake news” and “alternate truth” and more conspiracy theories than one handle in a year.

    Then again, there have been many famous hoaxes in history, most of which are captured in books, magazines, newspapers, etc. all available through one of the several local libraries.

    The internet allow comments which ends up being a support system for the various opinions about the fakes, intentional or not. That is the key danger, a danger which virtually does not exist in a library.

      Hate to break it to you , but nobody uses a library to ‘cite’ anything anymore, it is still digital media that has been uploaded from a library. So the physical location of a library doesn’t matter any more, the books are almost all available online anyways.

      Fact is it is an archaic method of information, and almost pointless as tech moves forward. Anyone doing term papers will use a digital form of citation in their reports, 99% of the time.. its a tool for pre-school, daycare and has the odd value to people without internet access etc.

      Can it serve a purpose in the community? Yes, but as just a library? In that location? At what cost?

I am with gopg on this one, why not try and make the LIBRARY parking lot more people friendly first before going all extravagant on something which may not even solve the problem

He made his comments on an earlier article that why not make the library exit a no car zone? Or worst come to worst move the entrance / exit 90 degrees to come out at the parking stall- you lose 1 stall and gain a ton of safety and cost is minimal to the taxpayer

    An austere parkade elevator lobby in Edmonton which reminds me of the library parkade entrance.

    A parkade elevator lobby in Calgary for a five storey mixed use commercial development

    The question we need to ask is when some paint on the walls, some quality ceiling and floor finishes, good lighting and glass to provide an overview of who is coming and going as well as a CCTV monitor will remove most of the complaints, why are they insisting building an abortion of an addition to a building which provides no other amenities. All it is doing is repeating the mistakes of the rotunda which was supposed to have solved the problem two decades ago.

    The question we might want to ask at this stage, what is there about the new proposal which people will not like 5 years from the time of the completion of construction and will cause many to continue to use the parkade lobby which will remain as unsafe then as it is now?


      Another way one could have handled the parkade elevator lobby, and possibly can still retrofit it in this manner for considerably less $$$

      That part of the library was certainly one of the major flaws. I not only blame the Architect, but also those at City Hall at the time the Library was commissioned for the poor oversight of the project they provided as owners and representatives of the citizens of this city.

      Which begs the question, has anything changed? If so, how do we know?

I think Mayor and Council need to seriously look at finding new consultants, or save the tax payers money and just do a little research themselves. A 60 year old fire hall is not too old.By the City of Toronto’s standards it’s barely at the half way mark, station 312 in Yorkville is 128 years old, the Globe and Mail reports it’s starting to show it’s age. The Police Station should never have been replaced but renovated, but I guess the City of Pr George has money to burn spending what about 70 million with interest? The old police station, what are we going to do with that building, it’s only 42 years old. The pool only 46 years old, if it still holds water keep it. The Library 2.5 million for what. I seen it built and maybe been in it twice. City of Prince George stop wasting money.

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