Guelph's proposed $67-million library will not receive government funding: mayor

A proposed $67-million library for Guelph’s Baker District development will not receive any funding from upper levels of government, according to Mayor Cam Guthrie.

“It’s disappointing,” the mayor tweeted on Monday night.

Read more:
Guelph city council approves $67.1 million library for Baker District

He said the additional funding would have helped offset property tax increases and a levy to help pay for the new main branch of the Guelph Public Library.

City council approved the project and its cost in September 2019. It also approved an additional 0.86 per cent to be added to property taxes.

The hike would have been phased in over three years and then be in place for as long as 20 years, according to a staff report. But during budget deliberations later that year, council voted to delay imposing that levy until 2021.

At the time, the hope was that funding from upper levels of government would come through and staff applied for $36.6 million in the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

In another tweet on Monday, Guthrie said the program was heavily competitive and the various funding requests equalled 10 times more than what was allocated for the program.

“(It) just didn’t make the cut,” he said.

The future of the project is now up in the air, given that its lofty price would now fall mostly on Guelph’s taxpayers.

The library is anticipated to be the centrepiece of Guelph’s new Baker District development, which will also feature commercial and residential spaces, along with underground parking.

Read more:
Guelph’s 2020 capital budget approved without special tax levy

City staff are expected to provide an update on the library project in October.

“That will be a pivotal moment for council,” Guthrie said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories