Trail City Council pitches Eagles’ lot for library

Final decision depends on voters in 2014 municipal election.

A new library proposal might mean the start of a new story.

On Monday, Trail city council announced its decision to dedicate the land previously occupied by the Eagles Building for the construction of a new Trail Public Library and Historical Museum in downtown Trail.

“I am as I always have been with regards to a new library, cautiously optimistic,” said Barbara Gibson, Trail and District Library Board chair. “My only concern is that the lot is only 7,500 square feet, compared to Fields which was 10,000, so we are going to have to do some talking in this initial stage.”

Mayor Bogs said that constructing a new building will offer the public a new and modern facility in a good location.

“Buying a piece of property (Fields) and then having to renovate it to today’s standards was too expensive,” he explained. “It just didn’t make any sense, and this new library museum will definitely be a two-story building.”

However, council’s decision, made during the strategic planning meeting on Thursday, is not the final say.

“The final decision on whether or not the building will be constructed will be made by the Trail citizens.”

During the next municipal election, in November 2014, the public will have the opportunity to vote for a loan authorization bylaw to provide the authority required for council to borrow money needed to proceed with the detailed design  and construction.

“Constructing a new building on city-owned land will end up costing the city and taxpayers in the long run,” said Bogs.

“Of course this will impact taxes, as does every capital project,”conceded Gibson.

“But  as I said in my previous proposal to council, the cost could be spread out over time.”

Gibson said that during the next 18 months, the board will use the time to partake in fundraising to mitigate the cost to the Trail taxpayer; and to build awareness of what a new the new library museum will look like.

“This gives people time for input about what they want to see in the new library, and build some excitement about the project.”

The next stage in the library relocation saga is that the city will hire an architectural firm to develop the necessary conceptual plan for presentation to the public.

“Our study listed what people in Trail want to see in their library,” said Gibson.

“I am looking forward to working with the City of Trail and the historical society.

“Then the people of Trail get to vote on whether or not they want it.”