PRINCE GEORGE - The library project is moving ahead as planned. That was the message to Council during a recent presentation. The library entrance project had been on the unfunded capital plan for years. That means it was seen as a need by the City, but not a priority. Until 2017. That's when Council opted to move forward with the project in the budget. A total cost of $2.5 million was earmarked.
"Basically we're working on making sure we have a covered stairwell, an elevator that stops at all of the floors of the library and provides good accessibility from each floor," explains Janet Marren, Chief Librarian.
But during a recent presentation to Council, it was suggested that the project may be a million dollars over budget, something that was very concerning to Councillor Brian Skakun.
"I think we budgeted about two and a half million for the new entrance and we are under the strong impression at the time that was going to be a firm cost. And then we find out that those costs might not be totally accurate and we're looking at a million-dollar shortfall on the library entrance."
But Marren says there has been some miscommunication and assures the project will come in on budget.
"We haven't determined the total cost estimate at this point," she says. "Right now, we are spending this year working on the design plans."
The City has also applied to a federal accessibility grant for the library but won't know if it passed the first intake process until this fall. That would be a million dollars for the project. But it would be in addition to the monies already allocated.
"But it's important to note that the project will go ahead," says Marren. "We are making the designs to be within whatever budget we have available to us, whether or not the grant is successful."
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