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Regina City Council Approves Funding for Regina Central Library Renovation

Regina City Council Approves Funding for Regina Central Library Renovation
Regina City Council Approves Funding for Regina Central Library Renovation

Regina City Council has approved funding for the Regina Public Library (PRL) Central Library Renovation Project.

RPL estimated the cost at between $92 million and $119 million.

“We need your financial support,” RPL board member Cindy Kobayashi told council members at a special meeting Tuesday. “There is an interested party to work together on this project.”

“We have completed a feasibility study for a fundraising campaign with a specific goal in mind,” she added.

Council approval means the planning and design phases can proceed.

“We are – relative to other priorities – a modest project that could fit much earlier in the city’s priority planning,” Kobayashi said. “We are ready to move forward.”

It is not yet clear where the money to finance the project will come from.

But it’s possible the city will dig even deeper into debt to finance it. The administration also believed they would have to request a debt limit increase from the Saskatchewan Municipal Board if that was the path they were going to take.

Another option being presented is using property tax revenues, which would provide a 5.5 percent rate increase for five years.

It could also mean that other capital projects will be delayed.

The motion, introduced by Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins to approve the funding, passed 4-3. Coun. Findura, Mancinelli and Mayor Sandra Masters seconded the approval.

“Our city deserves this,” Hawkins said. “Our children and grandchildren deserve this.”

Councilmembers Stadnichuk, Nelson and Bresciani voted against approving the funding.

“This is financially irresponsible,” Bresciani shouted. “We have water and wastewater that our residents are entitled to and need.”

“These are urgent needs,” she added.

Councilmembers LeBlanc, Stevens, Mohl and Zachidniak were not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

With the approval, RPL can proceed with the planning and design of possible structures, or consider moving to a new building.

However, the next municipal council, which will be elected in November, will have the final say when the first spade goes into the ground.