The Peace River Regional District will be going ahead with plans for a new public library in Chetwynd, after board directors voted in favour of issuing requests for proposals for design and construction at their Feb. 25 meeting.
The new library is a joint effort between Area E and Chetwynd. A lean-to style building is being floated as one possible option. Costs are capped at $5 million.
“This has been going on for awhile, we’re trying to get costs down to something we can afford,” said Director Dan Rose. “We’ve got floor plans and ideas of what it might look like, so they’re not starting from scratch.”
He added the library has extensive experience working remotely as a satellite office.
"We’re certainly willing to accommodate as many communities as we can, with our services. I’m sure we could make agreements with everybody on how to do that,” said Rose.
Fort St. John Mayor Ackerman agreed a regional approach could be a good move for libraries in the Peace.
“I’m totally open to having that conversation, even though the library in Fort St John is not a municipal library,” said Ackerman. “If you’re suggesting a regional library, I’m on that bandwagon.”
The city recently rejected a request from the Fort St. John Public Library Association to become a municipal library, citing problems with existing legislation governing libraries in B.C.
City council is looking to host discussions with other jurisdictions about creating a regional library function to meet the library's demand for services and programs in Fort St. John and the North Peace.
— with files from Matt Preprost
Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at email@example.com