A headline-grabber but far from truth on library

LETTER

Re: Library Redevelopment an ‘absolute disaster’, February 9 story.

Our community must hear the full story about the redevelopment of our H.B. Williams Memorial library. Friday’s paper, with one headline-grabbing opinion, is far from the truth. While a few choose to discredit this project’s management with negative, unfounded remarks, I am full of praise and congratulatory commentary for council staff. This letter explains why.

In September 2015 the council had a total budget of $5.59 million to “expand” our public library. In addition to this, the council also had deferred work on the original building to complete. All these costs were combined in a December 2016 report to full council. It openly and transparently indicated a total project cost of $6.88m, that consisted of three main components: the new extension/expansion ($5.73m), upgrades on the existing building ($1.03m), and operating costs ($122k). All costs were accounted for and a balanced budget shown.

Since then, council staff have kept the Community Development committee and full council updated and informed every month on project progress — including unexpected and unpredictable matters (eg neighbour issues) that delayed and added unbudgeted expenses.

Latest figures show a budget increase of about $500k, which can be offset to leave a $50k deficit. Every step of the way, our staff have acted professionally and transparently; and at no point did they receive formal resolutions to stop or abandon the project. On the contrary, we signalled our trust in them to bring our library project to fruition within reasonable limits. They have delivered.

I, therefore, thank and praise all our staff, financial contributors and community members who have had a hand in making this a successful community project. This upgrade to our public library has been one of my most favoured council projects, mostly because of the value it adds to our place and its accessibility to all; it is, after all, our most frequented public asset.

I look forward to celebrating with our community in early-mid April when we open our new, modern learning environment called the H.B. Williams Memorial Library. What will the front-page headline say then? I’m predicting something like: Library redevelopment “absolutely stunning”.

AMBER DUNN, Councillor

Re: Library Redevelopment an ‘absolute disaster’, February 9 story.

Our community must hear the full story about the redevelopment of our H.B. Williams Memorial library. Friday’s paper, with one headline-grabbing opinion, is far from the truth. While a few choose to discredit this project’s management with negative, unfounded remarks, I am full of praise and congratulatory commentary for council staff. This letter explains why.

In September 2015 the council had a total budget of $5.59 million to “expand” our public library. In addition to this, the council also had deferred work on the original building to complete. All these costs were combined in a December 2016 report to full council. It openly and transparently indicated a total project cost of $6.88m, that consisted of three main components: the new extension/expansion ($5.73m), upgrades on the existing building ($1.03m), and operating costs ($122k). All costs were accounted for and a balanced budget shown.

Since then, council staff have kept the Community Development committee and full council updated and informed every month on project progress — including unexpected and unpredictable matters (eg neighbour issues) that delayed and added unbudgeted expenses.

Latest figures show a budget increase of about $500k, which can be offset to leave a $50k deficit. Every step of the way, our staff have acted professionally and transparently; and at no point did they receive formal resolutions to stop or abandon the project. On the contrary, we signalled our trust in them to bring our library project to fruition within reasonable limits. They have delivered.

I, therefore, thank and praise all our staff, financial contributors and community members who have had a hand in making this a successful community project. This upgrade to our public library has been one of my most favoured council projects, mostly because of the value it adds to our place and its accessibility to all; it is, after all, our most frequented public asset.

I look forward to celebrating with our community in early-mid April when we open our new, modern learning environment called the H.B. Williams Memorial Library. What will the front-page headline say then? I’m predicting something like: Library redevelopment “absolutely stunning”.

AMBER DUNN, Councillor

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Tony - 2 months ago
Ka pai, Amber. A shame that your news is not the headline grabber.

Cherie - 2 months ago
Chur Councillor Dunn x